According to the Alzheimer’s Association, today there are more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, including as many as 230,000 right here in Ohio. This will grow to as many as 250,000 by 2025, if we don’t do all we can to stop the disease today.
More than 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day and age is one of the greatest known risk factors for the disease.
Alzheimer’s affects all of us. And this is why I was more encouraged than ever when Congress signaled their recognition of this fact by creating and passing unanimously the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) which spurred the creation of the first National Alzheimer’s plan for the United States.
The costs for Alzheimer’s care and services continue to rise, costing over $203 billion annually. This disease is straining our overwhelmed health care system, and threatens to bankrupt Medicare and Medicaid.
The Senate has prioritized the National Alzheimer’s Plan by including an additional $100 million for research, education, care and support; it is vitally important that Congress include these resources in fiscal year 2014.
I have been personally impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. My grandma lived with this disease for more than seven years. It not only impacted myself, but our entire family as well. Alzheimer’s disease caused my grandma to slowly fade away. Over time, she was not able to remember my name, make decisions or even complete the simplest tasks of daily life. Finally only a shell remained.
We now urge President Obama and Congress to put aside politics and focus on finding common ground that will enable us to marshal the resources, expertise and innovation needed to change the course of the disease for the millions living with Alzheimer’s today and the millions more who will face it in the future.
Please contact Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman today. Ask them to provide funding to support he National Alzheimer’s Plan.
More information can be found at alz.org/napa or by calling 1-800-272-3900.
— Dan Reiff, Lima