for Immediate Release
Corbett Visits Long-Term Care Facility, Highlights Need for Alzheimer’s Disease
Harrisburg – During a visit to a long-term living
facility today, Governor Tom Corbett recognized Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness
Month and thanked members of the Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s Disease Planning
Committee for their efforts to create a state plan to address the disease.
Corbett toured Phoebe
Ministries Allentown, a 400-bed long-term living facility, and Phoebe Center of
Excellence in Dementia Care. He was joined by Dr. Kelly O’Shea Carney, executive
director for the Phoebe Center for Excellence in Dementia Care, and Secretary
of Aging Brian Duke, chair of the Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s Disease Planning
“As our senior population
grows, so does the number of our citizens living with Alzheimer’s disease,”
said Corbett. “Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month offers an opportunity to learn
more about this disease and how it touches the lives of so many Pennsylvanians.”
Corbett proclaimed November as
Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. It has been recognized nationally each
year since 1983 as a time to bring special attention to those living with the
disease, as well as their families and caregivers.
“An estimated 280,000 Pennsylvanians
are living with Alzheimer’s and an additional 120,000 of our citizens have
related dementias,” said Corbett. “Those figures confront us with a crisis, but
also an opportunity to rise above the problem and together look for ways to
effectively respond to it.”
Pennsylvania’s aging population
ranks as the fourth grayest state in the nation. The U.S. Census predicts that by 2015, one in
four Pennsylvanians will be 60 years of age and older.
Corbett created the Pennsylvania
Alzheimer’s Disease Planning Committee by Executive Order earlier this year. The
committee will develop a comprehensive state plan with recommendations to address
the disease in Pennsylvania, which will be presented to the governor in
is imperative that Pennsylvania has a responsive Alzheimer’s State Plan that
will provide guidance for families of loved ones with the disease, as well as healthcare
providers and organizations,” Corbett said. “I thank the committee for its work
thus far and look forward to the final plan early next year, culminating after
months of discussion, deliberation and input from the public.”
“It is an honor and a pleasure to serve on the Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s
Disease Planning Committee,” said Carney. “I thank Governor Corbett for taking
time to visit our facility and for the opportunity to help shape an Alzheimer’s
state plan that will best suit Pennsylvania.”
Phoebe Ministries has received the Excellence in Care Status of
Distinction from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, the first facility in
Pennsylvania to receive such an honor.
attending the event were representatives from the Azheimer’s Disease Planning
Commission, local Area Agencies on Aging, United Way of the Lehigh Valley,
Pennsylvania Council on Aging and the AARP of Pennsylvania.
Bob Mensch (R-Lehigh), Senator Pat Browne (R-Lehigh), Representative Hal
English (R-Allegheny), Representative Ryan Mackensie (R-Berks), Representative
Mike Schlossberg (D-Lehigh) and Representative Steve Samuelson (D-Lehigh) were
also in attendance at today’s event.
urges all Pennsylvanians to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease during this
month of awareness.
find out more about the Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s Disease Planning Committee and
Alzheimer’s disease, visit www.aging.state.pa.us.
Christine Cronkright, Governor’s Office,
Christina Reese, Aging, 717-783-1550
Editor’s Note: The text of the governor’s proclamation follows:
ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE AWARENESS MONTH
WHEREAS, Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative
disease of the brain, causing deterioration in memory and thought as well as
judgment and reasoning ability; with potentially devastating effects on
behavior, emotions and the ability to care for oneself; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania ranks 4th in the United States for highest
population of people over the age of 65; with 400,000 of its older adults
currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias; and
WHEREAS, Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in
citizens age 65 and older; with a new diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or a
related disorder such as dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal lobar
degeneration, Parkinson’s disease, amytrophic lateral sclerosis and mixed
dementia occurring every 69 seconds in the U.S.; and
WHEREAS, the National Institute on Aging estimates that the total
cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost $203
billion in 2013, and will increase to $1.2 trillion by midcentury; and
WHEREAS, neither Medicare nor most private health insurers to date
cover the long-term care services and support people with dementia need, nor
the intervention of new medical technologies to arrest its progression; and
WHEREAS, the Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s Disease Planning Committee
is committed to formulating a comprehensive strategy to address the endemic
Alzheimer’s disease crisis in the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recognizes individuals,
families, friends and caregivers in the path of the affliction while heralding
the scientists and physicians, medical professionals and dedicated institutes
seeking the treatment and cure of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
THEREFORE, I, Tom Corbett, Governor of the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim November 2013 as ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE AWARENESS
MONTH in Pennsylvania and encourage all citizens to acknowledge the importance
and urgency of the challenge before us.
GIVEN under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, at the City of
Harrisburg, on this twenty-third day of October in the Year of our Lord two
thousand and thirteen, and of the Commonwealth the two hundred and thirty-eighth.