Today, over 140,000 Georgians live with Alzheimer’s disease, and tens of thousands more experience other forms of dementia. Like many states, Georgia answered the call set forth by the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s to craft a unique blueprint that addresses the growing challenge of dementia.
The Plan’s Beginnings
During the 2013 session of the Georgia General Assembly, legislators created the Georgia Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias State Plan Task Force, a multidisciplinary group convened to improve dementia research, awareness, training, and care. Starting in June of that year, the six task force members and dozens of experts in diverse fields formed committees, conducted research, and made detailed recommendations.
The recommendations formed the core of the Georgia Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias State Plan. You can access the State Plan here. The document describes current demographics, prevalence statistics, and existing resources; analyzes the state’s capacity to meet growing needs; and presents a roadmap to create a more dementia-capable Georgia.
In June 2014, Governor Nathan Deal signed the Georgia Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias State Plan into action, and the Task Force became an Advisory Council. With a plan in force, the Advisory Council is
- ready to call for the early, accurate detection of dementia,
- willing to battle stigma and misinformation, and
- able to provide an incomparable web of support to families that need it.
Georgia’s recommendations cover a range of topics, including research, services, policy, public safety, workforce development, and public education. And undergirding all of these areas is the importance of partnerships – creating a deeply coordinated statewide team of agencies, nonprofits, businesses, and organizations.
Currently, the GARD advisors make up six different work groups that are tasked with making strides toward the goals and objectives outlined in the State Plan. Those work groups are:
- Workforce Development
- Service Delivery
- Outreach and Partnerships
- Public Safety
- Healthcare, Data and Research Collection
2017 GARD Quarterly Meeting Dates
May 17th in Macon, GA
August 24th in Atlanta, GA
November 28th in Macon, GA
If you are interested in learning more about the GARD State Plan efforts, please contact the GARD Coordinator, Victoria Helmly, at Victoria.firstname.lastname@example.org.