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Legislation to establish a three-year pilot program for Alzheimer’s care in Tennessee has passed in the state General Assembly.

The Alzheimer’s and Dementia Respite Care Program will provide respite care services for families caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, as well as those living with Alzheimer’s disease.

The bill is named in memory of retired Army Col. Thomas G. Bowden, a Tullahoma native with 26 years of service in the military and a recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal. Bowden died of complications from Alzheimer’s at age 68.

State Sen. Shane Reeves, R-Murfreesboro, was prime sponsor of the bill, which was approved by the state Senate on Wednesday.

State Sen. Rusty Crowe, R-Johnson City, the bill’s co-sponsor, released the following statement about the legislation:

“Several years ago, we created the Alzheimer’s and Related-Dementia Task Force. This legislation is the result of the study and research done through that task force, which Mrs. Barbara Bowden, the wife of Col. Bowden, and I served on for several years. I am very proud of the work Sen. Reeves has done as our prime sponsor, and I know that this pilot project will benefit the lives of those families who are acting as caregivers for their loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.”

The pilot program will be managed through the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability, which has offices throughout the state.

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