Can we count on you to help?
As we face a future where 7 million people will have Alzheimer’s or another dementia by 2025 and 16 million by 2050, we must press even harder for our national goal of $1 billion in research for a cure - and drive home the desperate need for services for Alzheimer sufferers and their families. It is vitally important that the thousands of advocates who dedicate themselves to petitioning their elected officials and spreading awareness continue to do their good work. They help create an understanding about this devastating disease, and they help spur the initiatives that will help defeat it one day.
|About 600 Alzheimer advocates attended the hearing, causing more than one of the 11 senators present to say, “I have never seen so many people at a Congressional hearing in my entire career.”
For the past five years government spending has remained flat, not even keeping pace with inflation. While research cutbacks are worrisome in the short term, advocates say their potential for the future is terrifying. Every year without a cure brings a higher price tag in human and financial terms. As the Alzheimer population explodes, by 2010 Medicare is expected to spend $160 billion on dementia care, skyrocketing to $189 billion by 2015. Medicaid spending for Alzheimer’s, one of the fastest growing parts of state budgets, is already close to the breaking point in many states. Yet within five years of a discovery that would delay the onset or slow the progression of the disease, the Alzheimer’s Association projects Medicare and Medicaid spending would fall by more than $60 billion.
Sharing your experiences as an Alzheimer caregiver can make a difference in the way legislators think about policies and programs that impact people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. Some legislators understand the depth of the Alzheimer challenge and have been very supportive. Others may need to be educated. As the challenge grows, we need to seek as broad support as possible.
When you talk to a caregiver whose mother has Alzheimer’s, and no matter what she does, her mom gets worse, she feels powerless. But when that caregiver educates her legislators and makes the plea for more Alzheimer research and service funding, she has hope that things will get better. She has a voice and feels empowered.
Now is the time for you to take a stand. Now is the time for you to get involved. Please contact Libby Connally at 325.672.2907 or 1.800.272.3900 to find out how you can make a difference in the lives of millions of people who have or will have Alzheimer’s disease. Or, sign-up here to help us MOVE our cause forward.