LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — People from across Michigan that have been impacted by Alzheimer’s are gathering in downtown Lansing on Tuesday morning to share stories and advocate for change in honor of Michigan Alzheimer’s Advocacy Day.
The group met on Tuesday morning at the Anderson House Office Building in downtown Lansing.
Their stories will hopefully inspire legislators to provide more resources to the 190,000 Michigan residents over the age of 65 who are living with Alzheimer’s, said Matt Phelan, Public Policy Manager for the Michigan Alzheimer’s Association.
“Their stories of their loved one and how to be a caregiver 24/7, for someone who is suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia — those stories are what really impact and make a difference in the eyes of the lawmakers, so that we can get more resources out to them,” Phelan said.
Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia, affecting thought, memory and language. It afflicts as many as 5.8 million Americans as of 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Volunteers with the Alzheimer’s Association are asking legislators to dedicate more funding toward education and training to help caregivers tend to loved ones with Alzheimer’s.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Michigan has around 380,000 unpaid caregivers that provided 872 million hours of care in 2022, which is the highest number of hours per caregiver in the country.
“The majority of caregivers in Michigan are unpaid caregivers; they’re family members, they’re loved ones taking care of people with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and we do not provide enough resources out there in the community to support them in that role,” Phelan said.