On April 9, more than 800 people living with Alzheimer’s, caregivers and advocates from across the country, gathered in Washington D.C. for the 26th annual Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum. Representing millions of people, they engaged in the democratic process and appealed directly to members of Congress for action on Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and 15.5 million Alzheimer’s caregivers. As an Alzheimer’s advocate, it is my honor to play a role in addressing this rapidly growing health crisis.
I lost my beautiful mother to Alzheimer’s over the course of 10 years. My dear father-in-law suffers now. I’ve seen the toll this heartbreaking disease takes on Alzheimer’s sufferers and the people who are trying to care for them while often letting their own health concerns go unaddressed.
In addition to the human toll, Alzheimer’s is the most expensive condition in nation, costing a staggering $214 billion a year.
Did you know that nearly one in every five dollars spent by Medicare is on people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia?
Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the only cause of death among the top 10 without a way to prevent, stop or even slow its progression. If we could eliminate Alzheimer’s we could save half a million lives every year.
It is only through adequate funding and a strong implementation of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease that we will meet its goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025.
Please call our Sens. Jon Tester and John Walsh and our Congressman Steve Daines. Ask them to make Alzheimer’s disease a national priority.
Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects us all. To learn how you can get involved in the fight against Alzheimer’s, visit alz.org.