To The Editor:
It is time we change our thinking on Alzheimer’s disease. Too often Alzheimer’s is treated as an aging issue, ignoring the public health consequences of a disease that someone in the US develops every 66 seconds. And with two-thirds of its annual cost being borne by Medicare and Medicaid, it is one that demands more attention from our government.
As one of the 177,000 people in Connecticut helping to care for someone living with Alzheimer’s, I understand the disease’s impact and the physical, emotional, and financial toll it takes.
Congress has a chance to take decisive action by passing the Building Our Largest Dementia Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. Endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Association, the Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act 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, preventing avoidable hospitalizations, and supporting the needs of caregivers.
Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the U.S. It costs the country more than $259 billion a year, which is why we need the Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. If we are going to end Alzheimer’s disease, then we must start treating it like the public health threat it is.
Please join me in asking Congressman John Larson to fight for the millions of Americans affected by Alzheimer’s by sponsoring the Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act.