HOPE for Alzheimer's Act
The Impact of Alzheimer’s
More than 5 million Americans, including 185,000 people in Michigan, are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and more than 15 million people serve as their caregivers. Alzheimer’s disease is both heartbreaking and deadly. It is the sixth leading cause of death in America, and sadly, one in three seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
Alzheimer’s not only devastates families, but it could devastate our economy as well. Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in America. The cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is estimated to total $226 billion in 2015. Nearly one in every five Medicare dollars is spent on someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act
Fewer than half of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s say they were told the diagnosis, according to a 2015 Alzheimer’s Association report, while more than 90 percent of people with the four most common cancers (breast, colorectal, lung, and prostate) say they were told their diagnosis.
Sen. Stabenow has introduced bipartisan legislation, the Health Outcomes, Planning and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer’s Act (S.857), to combat Alzheimer’s disease and support those suffering or caring for a family member with this devastating illness. The legislation will provide Alzheimer’s patients and their families with much-needed information about the disease and possible treatment options, as well as how to care for their loved one and plan for the future. The bill does this by creating a new care management, planning session for newly diagnosed Alzheimer’s patients under Medicare. The bill is sponsored by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Edward Markey (D-MA), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). The legislation has been endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Association.
We must make sure that individuals and their families have access to the care and services that can improve their quality of life today. The HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act takes a critical step toward helping millions of Americans by encouraging diagnosis of Alzheimer’s so it can be treated effectively and compassionately.
Support for Medical Research and Caregivers
While the challenges posed by Alzheimer’s are significant, continued breakthroughs in science and therapy could help us prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Sen. Stabenow is working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to call for additional funding for Alzheimer’s research at the National Institutes of Health. Sen. Stabenow is also committed to supporting initiatives at the Administration for Community Living, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, which help support family caregivers with much-needed community services like caregiver training.