After spending time as a senior caregiver for older adults diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the urgent need for scientific and effective treatment options becomes crystal clear. Caregivers have first-hand knowledge when it comes to Alzheimer’s, creating unique opportunities to take on the role of advocate and lend a hand in the fight against dementia. Your voice and the actions you take are powerful tools that help to bolster awareness and empower families in similar situations.
What is an Advocate?
If Alzheimer’s is a disease that’s near and dear to your heart, you can become an advocate, lending your voice to thousands of other people living with the disease. Advocates do not need to have a political background or experience to become an advocate. Instead, Alzheimer’s advocates can start by speaking to others about their own personal experiences with dementia and the everyday issues you face. By simply speaking out, advocates can help to shape local, state and federal laws.
Alzheimer advocates play a large role in the improvement of quality care and quality of life for seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Advocates often work with families by:
- Helping to teach about dementia care and services
- Improve access to community-based care
- Improve quality care in residential settings
- Expand funding for research and public programs serving people with dementia
Alzheimer’s advocates will also:
- Receive the latest data about current legislative and public policy issues
- Learn about current policy and legislative issues via government alerts and updates
- Make calls or write to state and federal legislators to champion public policy priorities for those living with Alzheimer’s
- Sign advocacy petitions, supporting initiatives that will make a positive impact
- Attend speaking engagements and similar events to meet elected officials who support Alzheimer’s research
For senior caregivers interested in becoming Alzheimer’s advocates, learn more by visiting:
- Find and contact your local chapter for local advocacy opportunities
- Join the National Alzheimer Advocate Network to receive the latest news and information on Alzheimer’s issues
- Visit the Alzheimer’s Association’s website to learn about joining the fight on Capitol Hill and meeting your Congressional representative.
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