LANSING — State Rep. Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights) fought today to save funding for the Michigan Dementia Care and Support Pilot Project in the state Department of Health and Human Services budget. The project supports families through care consultations and planning, and aims to help people with dementia remain in their homes longer. It will run in Macomb, Monroe and St. Joseph counties. Yanez secured a placeholder in the budget to continue the conversation on finding full funding for the program.

 “While the reality is that most Alzheimer and dementia sufferers will have to go into a long-term care facility eventually, many can remain in their homes longer with care and assistance provided by their family members,” said Yanez. “This pilot project will work with families to give them the skills they need to help their loved one. Helping those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia stay in the comfort of their home with their family members is the best outcome. The program is also cost effective for the state as it costs more for a person to live in a care facility than in their own home. This is a win for families and the state, and we need to continue to fund this important program.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, in Michigan in 2017 more than 180,000 individuals are living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Medicaid costs for caring for people with Alzheimer’s in 2017 are projected to be $1.299 billion. In 2016, this care and support program saved the state and Michigan taxpayers $533,048. The program costs an average of $2,978 per family served, while one year of nursing home care costs the state $91,250 per person. By 2025, it is projected that 220,000 Michigan residents will be living with Alzheimer’s disease.