I especially enjoyed Wisconsin Advocacy Day on March 11th because I shared it with my husband Dan this year. Several of us who are living with early-stage Alzheimer’s attended the event with our spouses. Nearly 100 people attended. There is always strength in numbers.
And as the Baby Boomers age and a large number of them are living with Alzheimer’s disease, we need to focus on programs for those living with Alzheimer’s and their spouses. This includes monthly support meetings, adult day programs, respite care, research for medicines, support groups, social groups and the list goes on.
After a morning filled with advocacy training, followed by a buffet lunch, we broke up into small groups and stormed the Capitol! Dan and I went with MaryAnn Vance, Lou Brunner and Lewis Butler to meet with State Senator Paul Farrow. Our exchange with him was very lively! He did comment that he would support the “Silver Alert”, a program similar to the Amber Alert, for at risk elderly who have gone missing. We also asked him to give a serious look at Family Care expansion, and the new plans for re-designing the Wisconsin Dementia Care System.
Our next meeting was with an aide to Assemblyman Chris Kapanga where we highlighted the same issues. It was a very tiring, important day. I believe we left a very good impression because our presentations were heart-felt and emotional in a very good way.
~Barbara Cheek Johnson is a journalist living with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. ~