On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis highlighted a more than $12 million increase in Alzheimer’s and dementia funding, bringing the state’s total commitment to more than $51 million for the 2021-2022 Fiscal Year.
Florida is the only state in the nation that has Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias listed as its own priority within a State Health Improvement Plan.
“In Florida, we continue to put our seniors first,” said DeSantis. “Some of the most difficult health conditions that impact many seniors are Alzheimer’s and dementia and as more innovative early intervention therapies are developed to mitigate the effects and severity of these conditions, awareness of the initial signs and symptoms are increasingly important. Our strong financial commitment of $51 million allows Florida to prioritize the advancement of research and support needed for this disease.”
“Governor DeSantis has ensured Florida is a dementia-caring state,” said DOEA Secretary Richard Prudom. “The governor brought Florida into the Age-Friendly Network of Livable Communities in 2019, and that means Florida is a dementia-caring state as well. When communities embrace livability for all ages, then all residents benefit from a healthier lifestyle.”
“We are so thrilled to have Governor DeSantis here with us today to recognize Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month,” said Alzheimer’s Association Vice President of Public Policy Michelle Branham. “From adding Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias as a priority within the State Health Improvement Plan to setting forth a bold dementia action plan for his administration, the governor has continually demonstrated his commitment to supporting Florida’s seniors, and particularly those facing dementia. Governor DeSantis has been instrumental in the efforts to make Florida a more dementia capable state, and we are so grateful to have his support.”
Earlier this month, ] DeSantis signed a proclamation for Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month in Florida. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia and the sixth leading cause of death in Florida. In this disease and related conditions, brain cells and nerves responsible for cognition and memories degenerate.
Approximately 580,000 people are now living with Alzheimer’s disease in Florida and this number is projected to increase to more than 720,000 by 2025.
Florida’s Dementia Care and Cure Initiative (DCCI) engages communities across Florida to be more dementia caring and has created 16 DCCI task forces throughout the state. Florida became the first state in the country to offer Project VITAL (Virtual Inclusive Technology for All) dementia-capable tablets throughout the state to seniors living in long-term care facilities and at home living with cognitive impairments and the state’s Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Committee continues to advance Florida’s infrastructure to address Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
Each year, the Florida Department of Health awards grants and fellowships through the Ed and Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program. This program funds research related to Alzheimer’s disease, improving the health of Floridians by studying the diagnosis and treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
Last year, the Florida Department of Health announced 22 projects to receive grant funding, totaling $4.5 million.
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