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Upper Cumberland Alzheimer’s Advocates Lobby Legislators

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Upper Cumberland Alzheimer’s Advocates Lobby Legislators

Upper Cumberland representatives from Alzheimer’s Tennessee went to the capital Wednesday to request legislative support on three key bills.

Plateau Regional Director Melanie Hendricks said a bill that would elevate the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability to the cabinet level was a priority. She said this would give advocates a seat at the table and a more powerful voice.

“We try to have our volunteers and us be a voice for those who no longer can speak for themselves,” Hendricks said. “So, we’re trying to look forward to the needs of this vulnerable group in this population.”

Hendricks said the group also requested support for a pair of bills that would improve the oversight of group homes for the elderly and expand the definition of elder abuse. She said every representative that they spoke with signed on to sponsor the three bills.

“You have a difficult time finding someone that has not been touched by Alzheimer’s or some related dementia,” Hendricks said. “So it’s something that’s very near to most of their hearts, and they want to do things as well to help take care of that population.”

In 2021, the group lobbied for the bill that created “silver alerts,” a service similar to “amber alerts,” but for those afflicted with Alzheimer’s or dementia, Hendricks said. She said that has been extremely well-received and continues to be proof that seeking advocacy from representatives and senators is a powerful means of creating a safe and comfortable Upper Cumberland environment for those struggling with Alzheimer’s.

“We work within the Alzheimer’s Tennessee organization for months before that deciding the things that are being tossed around that we think would be helpful to the people that we serve,” Hendricks said.

Hendricks said she is excited to make the organization’s already powerful voice even stronger with the new legislation that they are helping to push through.


The post Upper Cumberland Alzheimer’s Advocates Lobby Legislators appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.