Proposed Alzheimer's laws could help family members - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Proposed Alzheimer's laws could help family members

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By Ashley Conroy - email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - It's an alarming statistic.  Alzheimer's disease is on the rise.  Studies show Mississippi isn't immune, and 65-thousand people will have the illness by 2025.

"We consider Alzheimer's a health care crisis," said Patty Dunn with the Mississippi Alzheimer's Association.

That crisis has prompted meetings like one held Wednesday, as members from the national and state Alzheimer's associations, lawmakers, and others discussed legislation about "adult guardianship" laws.

"This legislation because other states have and are considering the legislation would put us all together saying we recognize Mississippi," said Representative Bobby Moak, a Democrat from Bogue Chitto.

Noah Moore said he can relate to this legislation as he has a family member with Alzheimer's out of state.

If guardianship laws pass during the 2011 session, if needed, Moore could handle all legal documents with less confusion.

"It (guardianship laws) will be a vehicle or a means to be able to take control of this situation," said Moore.

Then there's the issue of ethnicity.  African Americans are two times more likely to develop the disease than Caucasians, and Hispanics are one-and-a-half times more likely to be diagnosed.

"Potentially one of the risk factors for Alzheimer's disease, which are high blood pressure and diabetes, and those risk factors are more prevalent in the African American and Hispanic community," said Dunn.

This simple fact is another reason Moore has decided to take action against a disease that impacts millions of Americans and the family members who care for them.

"And we just can't sit back and allow this to happen, and these persons be in our community, and their needs not be addressed," said Moore.

If you would like more information about this legislation and Alzheimer's disease, you can call the Mississippi Alzheimer's Association at 601-987-0020 or go to their website at www.alz.org/ms

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