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AB-1955 Alzheimer’s disease and dementia: public awareness campaign.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 01/29/2018 09:00 PM
AB1955:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1955


Introduced by Assembly Member Limón

January 29, 2018


An act to add Section 9632 to the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to Alzheimer’s disease.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1955, as introduced, Limón. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia: public awareness campaign.
Existing law requires the California Department of Aging to designate various private nonprofit or public agencies as area agencies on aging to work for the interests of older Californians within a planning and service area and provide a broad array of social and nutritional services. Existing law also requires the department to adopt policies and guidelines to carry out the purposes of the Alzheimer’s Day Care-Resource Center program, which provides access to specialized day care resource centers for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related disorders and support to their families and caregivers.
Existing law requires the department to make efforts to increase public awareness about areas of importance to California’s older individuals, their families, and other caregivers. Existing law requires the department to establish an Aging Information and Education Fund, from funds made available pursuant to the annual Budget Act, to implement public awareness of various issues, including at least medication management, elder abuse prevention, and a toll-free line for linkage to local service networks.
This bill would require the department to develop and implement a public awareness campaign, as specified, to reduce stigma and raise public awareness of the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in order to promote early detection and accurate diagnosis. The bill would also make related legislative findings and declarations.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) “California’s State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease: An Action Plan for 2011–2021” established as its first goal the elimination of stigma, recommending that California heighten public awareness through culturally appropriate public education campaigns.
(b) With 2.2 million Californians directly impacted by Alzheimer’s disease, the third leading cause of death in California, there is significant need to educate the population at risk of the disease in order to promote early detection and diagnosis.
(c) Recent data indicates that less than 50 percent of all persons affected have been informed of their diagnosis, resulting in misinformation and lack of information, which contribute to poor health outcomes, increased hospitalization and institutionalization, and higher public and private health care costs.
(d) California’s area agencies on aging are a critical network for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia patients, caregivers, and providers, offering assistance, information, referral, and support.
(e) Consumers, caregivers, and providers identify stigma as a barrier to accessing early detection and accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Overcoming stigma is key to reducing the 50-percent disparity in detection and diagnosis. Rates of detection and diagnosis are even worse among populations at greater risk, with higher rates of prevalence for African Americans, Latinos, and women.
(f) Early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease are critical for improving health outcomes, lowering health care costs, and ensuring access to beneficial interventions, including, but not limited to, care plans, education, and support, that are set forth in the latest edition of the California “Alzheimer’s Clinical Care Guideline” that is published by the State Department of Public Health.

SEC. 2.

 Section 9632 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

9632.
 (a) The department shall develop and implement a public awareness campaign to reduce stigma and raise public awareness of the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in order to promote early detection and accurate diagnosis.
(b) In developing and implementing the public awareness campaign described in subdivision (a), the department shall utilize the latest edition of the California “Alzheimer’s Clinical Care Guideline” that is published by the State Department of Public Health.