Kedzie appointed to committee to develop legislation for Alzheimer's care

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Stan Milam
Thursday, July 19, 2012

— State Sen. Neal Kedzie will participate in a study committee charged with developing legislation to clarify the care of Alzheimer's and other dementia patients.

The Legislative Council Committee consists of legislators and private sector experts. The group has been asked to "develop legislation to clarify the statutes regarding guardianship, protective placement, involuntary commitment and involuntary treatment" of vulnerable adults with a dementia diagnosis.

"This is a growing concern as baby boomers head into that stage of life," said Kedzie, R-Elkhorn. "I think it's a good idea that we look carefully at existing law, and we make sure state law is appropriate for the needs of those suffering from these diseases."

Kedzie's interest and concern comes from experience.

"I shared power of attorney for my great aunt, who suffered from and eventually died of Alzheimer's," he said. "I saw the progression of the disease.

"It's a very difficult thing to watch loved ones suffer with Alzheimer's," Kedzie said. "It's not only the memory loss. There's a physical loss as well, and it's heartbreaking to see a family member go through it."

Kedzie said he's looking forward to helping assure Wisconsin law is appropriate for the care and treatment of Alzheimer's and related dementias.

"We will look at how and when to involve the courts and what options are available to counties," he said. "We need to look at treatment options for incurable dementias and explore various legal ramifications."

Kedzie predicted the committee, which will have its first meeting July 31, will produce specific recommendations for legislation.

"There needs to be clarification and resolution to these issues," he said. "My goal is to have recommendations ready when the legislative session begins in January."

Last updated: 4:54 pm Tuesday, August 27, 2013

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