45 Alzheimer’s Advocates Travel to Tallahassee to Meet with Legislators

45 Alzheimer’s Advocates Travel to Tallahassee to Meet with Legislators

By: Mark Cornett

 

The needs of patients and caregivers living with neurocognitive disorders in Florida were represented in Tallahassee by 45 passionate Alzheimer’s Community Care advocates February 11 – 13, 2014. The team was made up mostly of family caregivers, many of whom have been providing care in their homes for over 10 years, members of Alzheimer’s Community Care’s Board of Directors and Advisory Councils, volunteers, and staff.

This was the fourth advocacy trip sponsored by the organization in the past few years. The primary purpose is to provide an opportunity for caregivers to meet with Florida’s legislators face-to-face and tell their stories. This educates the legislative body on the importance of the specialized approach to care, safety, security, and support that takes place at Alzheimer’s Community Care every day. What results is a beautiful interaction between almost 200 elected officials, legislative staff, and their constituents as stories are shared back and forth. We find that the legislators we have gone to educate in Tallahassee often have their own Alzheimer’s stories to tell and find support and guidance from the very constituents that have come to visit them!

Education is the key word for this trip. The advocates boarded a motor coach on the morning of February 11 as it made stops in West Palm Beach, Stuart, and Ft. Pierce. Each advocate told their personal story on the way to Tallahassee and received the beginnings of their “orientation”. A more in-depth training was provided for advocates over dinner in Tallahassee that night. Advocates were assigned to eight groups of four to five people in each group, and February 12 was spent on visits educating the legislators, followed by a debriefing to collect any instructions that staff would need to follow-up on after the trip. The 13th was devoted to travel back to South Florida, and the motor coach was abuzz with a sense of pride and success. Many advocates commented on how they were well received and were shown great respect on this trip.

As this article is being written, the 2014 Legislative Session has passed its half-way point. Much work still needs to be done. Advocates have already sent thank-you letters and notes to the legislators who received them so well. As the Session wraps up, there will be more need to send letters, make telephone calls, and continue to educate. We will provide Session updates on our website and in our email blasts as they develop.

We would like to thank all of our advocates – those who were able to travel to Tallahassee and those who do all of their advocacy from home. We cannot provide the much-needed education without you!

Alzheimer's Community Care's Supervisor of Case Management, Danielle Worley and Advocate Wilhemina Wilson meet with Florida Governor Rick Scott

 





Alzheimer's Community Care is proudly supported by our friends and partners in the community.