(410 ILCS 405/2) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 6952)
    Sec. 2. Policy declaration. The General Assembly finds that dementia is a general term for cognitive decline caused by various diseases and conditions that result in damaged brain cells or connections between brain cells. Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia, caused by physical changes in the brain and accounting for 60% to 80% of cases. There are many other causes of dementia, known here as related disorders. Today Alzheimer's disease affects an estimated 5,400,000 Americans; approximately 210,000 Illinois citizens have Alzheimer's disease. The General Assembly also recognizes that the incidence of Alzheimer's disease is rising and expected to reach 240,000 in Illinois by 2025. The General Assembly finds that Medicaid costs for individuals with Alzheimer's disease are 9 times higher than the costs for a person without Alzheimer's disease in the same age group and that 71% of all Illinois nursing home residents have some degree of cognitive impairment, with more than half of that group having moderate to severe cognitive decline.
    The General Assembly also finds that Alzheimer's is not a normal part of aging, although the greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimer's are 65 and older. But Alzheimer's is not just a disease of old age. Up to 5% of people with the disease have early-onset Alzheimer's (also known as younger-onset), which often appears when someone is in their forties or fifties. It is the opinion of the General Assembly that Alzheimer's disease and related disorders cause serious financial, social, and emotional hardships on persons with Alzheimer's disease or related disorders and their families of such a major consequence that it is essential for the State to develop and implement policies, plans, programs and services to alleviate such hardships.
    The General Assembly recognizes that there is no known cause or cure of Alzheimer's disease at this time, and that it can progress over an extended period of time and to such a degree that a person with Alzheimer's disease dies from Alzheimer's disease. The General Assembly recognizes that Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death across all ages in the United States and the fifth leading cause of death for those aged 65 or older. It is the intent of the General Assembly, through implementation of this Act, to establish a program for the conduct of research regarding the cause, cure and treatment of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders; and, through the establishment of Regional Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Centers and a comprehensive, Statewide system of regional and community-based services, to provide for the identification, evaluation, diagnosis, referral and treatment of individuals with Alzheimer's disease or related disorders. It is also the intent of the General Assembly to provide adequate and appropriate State policy and regulations to ensure that Illinois persons with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders are able to maintain their quality of life and their dignity as they progress through the course of the disease.
(Source: P.A. 97-768, eff. 1-1-13.)