Over 150 advocates and members of the Alzheimer’s Association® from all over Florida, more than 40 from here in South Florida, will travel to Tallahassee on January 16 and 17 to speak with legislators about making Alzheimer’s a top state priority. 

Florida has the second highest prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in the country, with over 522,000 people diagnosed in the state. Of these, 200,000 are from South Florida.

The advocates, including caregivers and people living with the disease, will join together to participate in  approximately 75 meetings held in just one day in Tallahassee.  On January 16th they will board a bus at 6:30a.m. to make their way to the state capital and return on the January 17th.

The two-day event will begin at the historic Old Capitol Building.  At sunset, over 150 advocates and legislators will gather on the Capitol steps as the building is illuminated in the Alzheimer’s Association’s official color, purple.  The event includes a ceremony in which South Florida resident and advocate, Jahna Jones will be telling her story.

“I have 10 members of my family with the disease; I advocate because it’s the only way I know how to fight,” says Jones. “Working with the Alzheimer’s Association, I realize that we are a force multiplied when we work together and that truly makes a difference”, she adds.

Attendees from previous years’ meetings have included Rep. Gayle Harrell (Stuart), Rep. Barrington Russell (Lauderdale Lakes), Rep. Emily Slosberg (Boca Raton) and Rep. David Richardson (Miami/ Miami Beach) among many more from across the South Florida region..  This year promises to host the most advocates and legislator meetings of any year in the event’s eight-year history.

Volunteer advocates will also sit down to an Alzheimer’s Association State Dinner and learn about legislative priorities that effect change in the trajectory of the disease. “This year, we are committed to making sure our legislators meet their constituents, listen to their stories about caregiving and living with the disease, and hopefully make Alzheimer’s a top state priority in this legislative session,” said South Florida Public Policy Manager Jennifer Braisted.

There are over 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and Florida has the second highest prevalence of the disease in the country. Just over 1.1 million caregivers are providing 1.25 billion hours of unpaid care. This impact is valued at over $15.85 billion in healthcare costs.  The advocates traveling to Tallahassee hope to change these statistics and the trajectory of this healthcare epidemic.

About the Alzheimer’s Association®

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support, and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support; for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Visit alz.org or call 800.272.3900