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Pushing For Transparency And Policy Updates, Alzheimer’s Advocates Meet Missouri Lawmakers

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The Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Missouri is planning a week of virtual meetings with Missouri lawmakers next week. Chief among their concerns are the high death tolls in nursing homes due to the coronavirus, as well as the need for more transparency in these facilities and an update to state policy.

As nursing homes faced unprecedented deaths, members of the Alzheimer’s Association raised concerns that families of residents, particularly those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, were not being informed properly. 

Vice President of Public Policy with the association, Jerry Dowell, said the communication between families and these facilities still needs to be improved.  

“When the pandemic hit, a lot of these facilities got closed down to outside visitors, and you weren’t able to see your loved ones on a daily basis, so you wouldn’t know what was going on with their care...,” Dowell said.

According to Dowell, the association plans to propose new legislation that would make statistics on coronavirus cases in these facilities easier to access. 

“These facilities already provide this information to the state of Missouri. The state of Missouri provides this information to the federal government. We’ve requested the state provide this information on the dashboard that the state government set up in regards to case reporting...,” Dowell said.

Dowell said Alzheimer advocates also plan to propose a task force to rework policies Missouri has had in place at least a decade.