This week, Representative Carolyn Dykema (D-Holliston) joined her colleagues in the House of Representatives in voting unanimously to pass H.4116, An Act relative to Alzheimer’s and related dementias in the Commonwealth.

More than 120,000 Massachusetts residents are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative brain condition that disproportionately impacts elders. Treatment is costly and intensive, impacting families across the Commonwealth who are often called upon to act as caregivers and medical proxies. The population of those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia is growing, projected to rise by 25 percent in the coming decade.

This legislation directs the state to develop a comprehensive plan to address the spread of Alzheimer’s and creates an Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Council. It also directs hospital and health care providers to participate in continuing education and develop acute care plans to better manage and treat patients with dementia. Finally, the bill establishes training standards for social workers who work to protect elders from abuse.

“Countless families across Massachusetts know the struggle of caring for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s,” said Rep. Dykema. “Until we find a cure, this bill will work to ensure that our professional caregivers and health care providers are trained to provide high-quality care and support to patients and their families as they cope with this debilitating illness.”

This bill now travels to the Senate for consideration.

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Representative Carolyn Dykema represents the communities of Holliston, Hopkinton, Southborough and Precinct 2 of Westborough in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.