Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Addressing Alzheimer’s

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Addressing Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates there are more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and more than 16 million Alzheimer’s caregivers. As the Alzheimer’s Ambassador to U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, it is my honor to represent them. In Maryland, at least 294,000 caregivers provide more than 334,000,000 total hours of unpaid care to 110,000 of our residents who live with Alzheimer’s.

That is why we at the Alzheimer’s Association are enormously grateful to Senator Van Hollen and his colleagues in Congress for passing the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act at the end of 2018. BOLD will allow effective Alzheimer’s public health interventions to be implemented across the country while establishing Centers of Excellence to expand and promote innovative and effective Alzheimer’s interventions. State and local health departments will receive vital funding to carry out the Public Health Road Map, including promoting early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk, and preventing avoidable hospitalizations.

I lost my mother to younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2002, and our family would’ve benefited greatly had these opportunities been available to us then. We have much work to do to find an effective treatment and eventually a cure, but in the meantime it becomes more and more important that Congress continue to act in passing the necessary legislation – such as BOLD – that gives those living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers all the support they need and deserve. Thank you, Senator Van Hollen, for once again showing your great allegiance and support to this important cause.

Visit alz.org/nca to learn how you can get involved in the fight to end Alzheimer's.

Sue Wronsky