New Hampshire Priorities
Protecting people in NH with cognitive issues from abuse, neglect and financial exploitation
In New Hampshire 37% of people who have a cognition issue live alone. This leaves them at risk for being exploited. The Alzheimer’s Association along with community partners, the NH Attorney General and Health & Human Services will continue to strengthen legislation that would pursue to the severest penalty of the law anyone who commits or assists in the committing of a crime against a cognitively impaired individual. Training for senior abuse and prevention workers is a priority as well as strengthening law enforcement’s ability to pursue legal action against perpetrators who target people with Alzheimer’s disease for financial gain.
New Hampshire Health & Human Services Alzheimer’s Respite Grant
In New Hampshire 24,000 people have Alzheimer’s and 66,000 plus Caregivers provide 75 million hours of unpaid caregiving per year valued at $917 million dollars. The Alzheimer’s Association will continue to fight to keep this line item in the general fund for the HHS Budget, drive consumers to the application process through Servicelink, and spread public awareness to families and caregivers who could utilize these funds.
Evaluate the Direct Care Workforce and Preparedness of Long-Term Care and Support Services
(SB161) – This commission is set to meet and bring stakeholders to the table to assess the capabilities of NH workforce in long term care settings and acute settings are prepared for caring for the increasing numbers of people living in NH with Alzheimer’s. The Association is committed to ensuring that a minimal set of standards are in place for care, daily living, and environment, while also ensuring that the direct care workforce is trained properly to care for people living with a cognition issue, and are compensated accordingly.
Ensuring Licence Nursing Assistants have proper background checks
This bill limits the types of crimes for which barbers, cosmetologists, estheticians, and licensed nursing assistants are refused as applicants for licensure or are subjected to disciplinary action. We see this as a danger to people with dementia. 29.9% of people in NH who identify with having a cognition issue live alone. By lowering the standard and allowing certain crimes to be overlooked in the licensing procedures makes vulnerable adults unsafe. We do not believe this bill is in the best interest of those with dementia or their caregivers.
Create a NH State Plan
(HB417) – The NH State plan for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias creates the infrastructure and accountability necessary to confront the sweeping economic and social impact of this disease. By bringing together essential stakeholders – such as state agency officials, legislators, care providers, family caregivers, and people with Alzheimer’s – the state planning process was able to identify critical issues, explore solutions, and construct a roadmap to guide a state’s development into a dementia-capable state. New Hampshire has a permanent sub-committee under HHS Oversite Committee that looks at all things dementia in New Hampshire growing legislation to help the 24,000 people fighting the disease.
Police training was an initiative sought after by both NH Law Enforcement, and caregivers to ensure that the safety of people with Alzheimer’s was a priority. The passage of HB417 looked to create a two hour curriculum to be taught at the NH Police standards and training facility by the Alzheimer’s Association giving law enforcement the tools to provide safe encounters in the community.
(SB209) – New Hampshire needed to ensure that their policies on advance directives and care planning reduce the complexity of end-of-life decision-making. One important step was to enact the budget-neutral Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act (UAGPPJA), as approved by the Uniform Law Commission. UAGPPJA establishes a framework for courts in different states to communicate about adult guardianship cases and thus makes the resolution of multi-state jurisdictional issues easier for family members. This bill directly impacted granite staters due to the high cost of guardianship proceedings and long wait times in the NH Probate courts.
Silver Alert/Vulnerable Adult
(SB487) – The NH Silver Alert is a public notification system used to broadcast information about missing person’s specifically older adults with dementia or other cognitive impairments who may wander – in order to aid in their quick recovery. The Silver Alert in NH was re-written to strengthen its language and remove barriers that impeded a unified approach from NH Law Enforcement. As the threat of Alzheimer’s disease continues to touch more people’s lives, the safety of those individuals will continue to be a tremendous concern. Working closely with the Commissioner of Safety and other stake holders NH Silver Alert is now a viable tool to assist all branches of NH Law enforcement in search, rescue and recovery of those who may wander.
Uniform Power of Attorney
(SB230) – The UPOAA seeks to preserve the durable power of attorney as a low-cost, flexible, and private form of surrogate decision making while deterring use of the power of attorney as a tool for financial abuse of incapacitated individuals. It contains provisions that encourage acceptance of powers of attorney by third persons, safeguard incapacitated principals, and provide clearer guidelines for agents. The UPOAA recognizes that in New Hampshire many agents are family members who have inherent conflicts of interest, but that these conflicts may not, in and of themselves, prevent an agent from acting competently for the principal’s benefit. Families and caregivers will have clear directives from the person with Alzheimer’s as to their wishes.