Every ten years or so, the state reviews its plan to better serve Missourians living with Alzheimer’s disease. A statewide task force will begin its work Friday to review the plan and recommend changes.

The task force includes people from the healthcare industry, nonprofit, state agencies, lawmakers, a researcher and an Alzheimer’s patient. Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe is the chair of the group.

Missouri Capitol (Photo courtesy of Gov. Parson’s Flickr page)

Jerry Dowell, with the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Missouri Chapter, said the task force is charged with making recommendations to the governor and legislature by January. He said there are four areas he expects the task force to focus on.

“We need to figure out ways to increase access to care and support and treatment. We want to improve the quality of care. We want to advance risk reduction in early detection and diagnosis. Then we also want to take a look at the things that we need to do as a state and put it in place so we can prevent some of the things that happened during COVID,” he said.

Dowell said Missouri has some adult daycares, mainly in urban areas, but some closed during the pandemic and did not reopen.

“The availability of services has declined since COVID. There will probably need to be a discussion of the things that we could do to help family members with respite care, with adult day services, and things like that, what can we do to help those facilities stay open,” he said.

Dowell said the group will hold forums across the state to ask the public for suggestions to help Alzheimer’s patients and their families. Missourinet will have more on the list of town halls once they are set up.

To hear the Show Me Today interview with Jerry Dowell, click below (11:38).

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