As we move into December, five million Americans with Alzheimer’s disease (100,000 in Maryland alone) and their caregivers enter the holiday season, which brings its own unique set of stressors. As a former caregiver to my mother who passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2002, I remember well the roller coaster of emotion as we tried to enjoy the season of giving, while at the same time, watching someone we loved endure the ravages of a devastating and heartbreaking disease.
Costing Americans more than $259 billion each year, Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the U.S. It has no treatment or cure. It’s time for some bold action to ensure that we start treating Alzheimer’s like the public health crisis that it is.
With that in mind, Congress has a chance to take decisive action passing the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act (S. 2076/H.R. 4256). This bill would create an Alzheimer’s public health infrastructure across the country to implement effective Alzheimer's interventions including increasing early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk and preventing avoidable hospitalizations.
It’s time we change our thinking on Alzheimer’s. I applaud our elected officials who, like U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (MD-8), support our efforts to increase research funding through the NIH as well as our efforts to pass important legislation. Join me in asking Rep. Raskin and his colleagues in Congress to fight for the millions of Americans affected by Alzheimer’s by sponsoring the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. Visit alz.org/nca to learn more about the fight to end Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s Ambassador to U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin
Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter