Tuesday, June 30, 2015
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin has ordered a review of the state’s plan for Alzheimer’s disease, instructing the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) to seek improvements in services and care.
The governor issued an executive order instructing the Aging Services Division of DHS, in consultation with the Oklahoma chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, to review and revise the state’s plan for dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, which was developed in 2009.
“Thousands of Oklahomans and their families are affected each year by Alzheimer’s,” said Fallin. “As this disease’s impact continues to increase, so does the need to review and update Oklahoma’s plan to ensure we are able to effectively help these Oklahomans.”
Mark Fried, president and chief executive officer of Oklahoma’s chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, said new challenges have surfaced since the original state plan was developed.
“Over 60,000 Oklahomans are currently living with the disease, and more than 220,000 are serving as unpaid family caregivers,” he said. “This plan will greatly help to advance the fight to end Alzheimer's while addressing important issues surrounding quality care. We applaud Governor Fallin for issuing an executive order that will make Oklahoma a leader on this issue.”
The governor’s executive order calls for developing recommendations for state policies, such as providing clear and coordinated services and support for persons and families living with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, and examining and formulating proposals about how the state can better provide long-term care, family caregiver support and other forms of assistance to persons with early-stage and early-onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
The mission of the Alzheimer’s Association is “to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.” The month of June is recognized as Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. For more information, go to www.alz.org/oklahoma.