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Missouri explores pilot program to help Alzheimer’s patients and caretakers

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – On Wednesday the Missouri Senate heard a bill that would create a pilot program to help patients with Alzheimer’s and their caretakers.

House Bill 466 would launch a pilot program for those patients and family members, who are caretakers, and live with the patient that would allow Alzheimer’s patients who qualify for Medicaid to receive payments for their family caregivers.  The program would authorize payments up to 60% of the daily rate of care at a long-term facility or nursing home.

The bill was sponsored by Representative David Wood, (R – District 058), told the committee his own experience with the disease.

“From personal experience right now my wife retired in June so we can take care of my mother-in-law.  Because she is no longer able to tell what her address is, I asked her the other day how she is going to tell 911 where to come if there’s an issue and she said ‘What’s 911?’ “Wood said.

If passed, the program will accept the first 300 qualified applicants and study the impact the additional payments has on overall spending.  Wood says that the program would save the state money, long-term, because it would delay or remove the need for nursing home or facility car which is more expensive.

Information from the Missouri School of Journalism contributed to this report.

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