1. The legislature finds that Alzheimer's disease and related dementing illnesses
which destroy certain vital cells in the brain, currently affect more than four hundred
thousand New Yorkers. Although these diseases are not limited to the elderly, medical researchers have
projected that Alzheimer's disease and related diseases of the brain will show a significant
increase in numbers to coincide with the growth in the population of the elderly. Because of the inability of persons with Alzheimer's and related dementias to live
in safety or undertake even the simplest tasks of daily living without cueing, assistance
and/or supervision, this population requires a high level of care throughout the moderate
and advanced stages of the disease. The reconfiguration of the health care delivery system currently underway necessitates
special recognition of this patient population which often, while sometimes otherwise
physically healthy, demands this high level of care because of their cognitive impairment
and other dementia symptoms.
2. In response to the needs of New York state's Alzheimer's community, and stemming
from within this community, a statewide network of not-for-profit corporations have
been established, dedicated specifically to responding at the local level to the needs
of this community. This network provides important support and educational services to caregivers of
persons with Alzheimer's disease. Eighty percent of all Alzheimer's care is provided at home and/or in the community,
and is delivered by family caregivers. By supporting family caregivers and informal supports at home and in the community,
costly institutionalization can be significantly delayed or avoided altogether. This results in a more effective utilization of resources. It is the intent of the legislature to encourage and foster such home and community-based
assistance through this existing network of not-for-profit corporations. It is further important in this time of changing resources and resource allocation,
to encourage this network to work closely with the department to ensure that the Alzheimer's
community is appropriately educated and included with respect to all available health
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