Alzheimer’s disease: more needs to be done, says AMAC
Finding solutions need to be a priority for all Americans
WASHINGTON, DC, July 5 — June was Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month but, says senior advocate Dan Weber, “it’s not enough to be aware that it is a devastating, deadly infirmity. It is imperative that we raise our voices in support of decisive action to offer real support for its nearly six million victims and their caregivers.”
In a statement backing legislative efforts focused on Alzheimer’s, the president of the two-million-member Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] urges Congress to put political differences aside and get cracking on new legislation that could make a difference.
“It was heartening to see the House, the Senate and President Trump on the same page when the BOLD [Building Our Largest Dementia Infrastructure] legislation was enacted on New Year’s Day. The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act provides $100 million dollars to fund new and potentially more effective ways to treat the disease and provide aid for besieged caregivers. But it is clearly not enough when we are at war with a disease that is spreading at such a dangerously fast pace.”
Two additional Alzheimer’s bills have been introduced in Congress. The Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Act expands the availability of resources to younger seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s and other dementias, resources that are currently available only to patients over 60 years of age. The Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act would expand comprehensive Alzheimer’s disease care planning services for patients.
“Both merit attention by lawmakers in a timely fashion.”
Weber says that more needs to be done to stop what is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and which targets the nation’s fastest growing population — senior citizens. He cites Alzheimer’s Association statistics showing that the overwhelming majority of victims are seniors. Nearly one-million older Americans between 65 and 74, 2.5 million between 75 and 84 years of age and 2.1 million over 85 have the disease. “Your parents, grandparents and even you are at risk considering the fact that 10,000 Americans turn 65 each and every day, a growth rate that will continue for ten or more years, according to theCensus Bureau.
And, adds Weber, if that is not enough for lawmakers to get together and provide support and solutions, consideration needs to be given to the financial impact the disease is having on the economy. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it’s is the most expensive illness plaguing America today. It is costing more than cancer and heart disease.
The Association estimates that Medicare and Medicaid will spend $195 billion on Alzheimer’s in 2019 and that by 2050 the disease will cost these two agencies $770 billion. To learn more and join the fight to end Alzheimer’s, visit alz.org/advocacy.