Alzheimer’s disease takes a devastating toll, not just on those with the disease but also on their caregivers. My father was heartbroken having to watch my mother battle Alzheimer’s for 13 years until she passed away in 2010. He needed as much support as possible to care for her.
Currently, there are more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, including 6,400 Alaskans. In addition, more than 15.7 million Americans are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, including 33,000 caregivers in Alaska.
To provide access to information and support for those impacted by Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer’s Association strongly supports the Health Outcomes, Planning, and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer’s Act (S.857/H.R.1559).
The HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act would provide Medicare reimbursement for services to increase the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias as well as provide access to information and support for newly diagnosed patients and their families. It would also ensure that an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis is included in the individual’s medical record.
Care planning services following a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can provide crucial information on treatments, services and supports that may help improve or maintain quality-of-life for the individual, their family and caregivers.
I invite Peninsula Clarion readers to contact Sen. Sullivan and Sen. Murkowski, encouraging them to cosponsor the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act to help ensure Medicare beneficiaries newly-diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and their families receive comprehensive care planning services.