Friday, December 10, 2010

Who is Advocating for the Elderly?

For the last 33 years I have advocated for the elderly. Working in a nursing home at the young age of 17, I witnessed neglect and was appalled at the poor care given to the elderly, and have been advocating ever since.

As much as things have changed, they have also remained the same. Yes there is more discussion, more options, more organizational groups, and more education, but neglect and  abuse are still ramped, and there is still a lack of funding to provide safe and dignified choices in care.

Shock of Gray: The Aging of the World's Population and How it Pits Young Against Old, Child Against Parent, Worker Against Boss, Company Against Rival, and Nation Against NationWith the growth in the aging population, the needs have never been greater for seniors and their family caregiver's. Currently someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer's every 70 seconds, and that doesn't include non
Alzheimer's dementias.

I was saddened yesterday after I signed a petition in support of "The Decade of Care" for individuals with Alzheimer's. I was the 11th person in the State of Michigan to sign. 11th??? Are you kidding me? Unless we stand together to advocate on behalf of the millions of individuals affected by Alzheimer's and their family caregiver's they will continue to lack the support, resources, and funding for programs and research.

I invite you to watch this video of my friend Richard Taylor who explains "Alzheimer's from the Inside Out"

There is another program in legislation that needs to have our support and that is the AGE Act of 2009. It's a national caregiver support program that would allow a $6,000 tax credit to help families offset income loss and/or help with paid respite, which is so desperately needed by family caregiver's all over the US. The link above will take you to the site to send a prewritten or self written letter to your State's Representative's to urge their support of the American's Giving Care to Elders (AGE) Act.
If you don't think these issues concern you, think again. If you are not an aging adult, or family caregiver now, it is almost a definite fact that you will be in the future. Programs, and resources don't happen over night, and it will take a huge percentage of American's to push our representatives to support elder care and support programs to get things moving.

Please take the few minutes of time to make your voice heard, and support The Decade of Care, and The AGE Act, and pass this on to your family, friends and colleagues.  Your voice may be the difference in your life, or your loved ones lives, now or in the future.
To find the latest information, support, or join our advocacy efforts visit and subscribe to the Alzheimer's Reading Room, and Search for eldercare 

Angil Tarach-Ritchey RN, GCM  can be reached for questions or comments at, or

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