Sen. Steve Wilson (R-Maineville) shakes hands with Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights) as Rod and Jennifer Blough of Dublin look on. Rod has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s and Lewy body dementia and Jennifer is his caregiver. [Karen Kasler | Statehouse News Bureau]

Senators Propose Bill To Develop Alzheimer’s, Dementia Action Plan

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Two state senators say Ohio needs to join all other states in developing a comprehensive plan to deal with rising numbers of residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia that are likely in the next few decades.

“We have a runaway train coming at us. That train is fueled by demographics,” said Sen. Steve Wilson (R-Maineville). He said the lifetimes and population of senior citizens in Ohio will increase, along with the spread of Alzheimer’s and related dementia.

Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights) said 5.7 million Americans, including 220,000 Ohioans, are living with those diseases, and “some estimates predict that these numbers will nearly triple by the year 2050.”

The senators say Ohio is the only state without a plan to handle what they call this pending crisis. Their bill would create a thorough review to come up with steps that can be taken over the next few years to provide support for people with dementia and their families and caregivers.