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DeSantis signs bill boosting education for Alzheimer's care and detection

The governor said he's continuing the state's "seniors first" approach by furthering Florida's commitment to supporting Alzheimer’s research, treatment and care.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to make Florida a leader in innovative Alzheimer's care and research.

That was his message during a news conference on Thursday when he spoke at Broward Health Sports Medicine along with Department of Elder Affairs Secretary Michelle Branham.

“Alzheimer’s is a very destructive illness. It’s something that of course afflicts the individual who has it, but it has an enormous impact on family and caretakers, really unlike any other disease that we face,” the governor said at a podium that read "Action for Alzheimer's."

DeSantis said he's continuing the state's "seniors first" approach by furthering Florida's commitment to supporting Alzheimer’s research, treatment and care.

Part of this approach is directing more funding in the state budget toward the cause. The governor said an additional $12 million would be put toward the Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative Program, bringing the total to $52.3 million.

Florida’s Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative (ADI) provides services to support the changing needs of individuals and families living with Alzheimer’s disease and similar memory disorders.

Those services include caregiver training, caregiver counseling and support along with a variety of in-home care options for those living with memory disorders, according to the program's website.

DeSantis also signed SB 806, known as the "Ramping up Education of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia for You" or READY Act.

The bill will require the health department to educate healthcare practitioners on early detection and diagnosis and reduce the risk of cognitive decline related to Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, he explained.

It will also support the creation of the Florida Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence aimed at connecting "seniors and caregivers with resources and training."

Branham joined the governor to express her excitement for what this funding could mean for the more than 590,000 Floridians living with Alzheimer's disease.

“While researchers and public-private partnerships forge the most direct path to prevention, treatment, and ultimately a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, the creation of the Florida Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence helps Florida families now," she said.

You can watch the governor's full news conference below.

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