(By Mr. Speaker, Mr. Kiss, and Delegates Perdue, Staton, Kominar, Boggs, R. Thompson, Campbell, Howard and Carmichael)

[Introduced February 4, 2003; referred to the

Committee on Rules.]

Designating November as "Alzheimer's Awareness Month."
Whereas, Approximately 41,000 West Virginians have Alzheimer's disease; and
West Virginia has the highest average age and highest percentage of Medicare recipients in the nation; and
While the state's total population is expected to remain constant indefinitely, its elderly population is projected to grow by sixty percent during the next twenty-five years due to low in-migration and the tendency for older residents to remain in the state; and
Whereas, The number one risk factor for Alzheimer's disease is age. One in ten persons over age sixty-five and nearly half of those over eighty-five have Alzheimer's, and, increasingly, it is found in people in their forties and fifties; and
Whereas, Alzheimer's disease is the third most expensive disease in the United States, after heart disease and cancer. The average lifetime cost per patient is close to $200,000; and
Whereas, More than seven out of ten people with Alzheimer's disease live at home. Almost seventy-five percent of the home care is provided by family and friends. The remainder is paid care, costing an average of $12,500 per year, of which families pay almost all out-of-pocket; and
Whereas, Half of all nursing home residents suffer from Alzheimer's disease or a related disorder. The average cost for a resident's care in a nursing home is $42,000 per year; and
Whereas, The percentage of total Medicaid expenditures going to long-term care in West Virginia is a very low 23.1%, and the state is considered to be below average in nursing home expenditures; and
Whereas, Neither Medicare nor private health insurance covers the long-term type of care most people with Alzheimer's disease need; and
Whereas, Lack of specialized services for Alzheimer's patients in West Virginia is a problem. Where Alzheimer specific services are available, they are often offered in private-pay settings, which many families cannot afford; and
Whereas, The West Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association serves all fifty-five counties in West Virginia and six counties in eastern Ohio. It is committed to standing by those who have Alzheimer's disease and their families through support services, caregiver education, training for health care professionals, advocacy on issues that impact Alzheimer families, a caregiver assistance fund, and support for research; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Legislature of West Virginia hereby designates November as "Alzheimer's Awareness Month"; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the appropriate representatives of the West Virginia chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.