As an Alzheimer’s Association volunteer advocate, I am thankful to share my story and work with my elected officials to bring more attention to this critical issue. The progress we have made in the fight to end Alzheimer’s would not have been possible without bipartisan congressional support.
I am sincerely grateful to Sen. Lisa Murkowski for being the prime sponsor for the National Alzheimer’s Project Act Reauthorization (NAPA: bill 619) and the Alzheimer’s Accountability and Investment Act (AAIA: bill 620) in the Senate chamber.
Sen. Dan Sullivan recently joined the fight by co-sponsoring these important dementia-specific bills. By 2025, it’s projected that 11,000 Alaskans, aged 65 years and older, will have Alzheimer’s. Alaska Natives have the highest likelihood of any race to develop dementia, as 35% of Alaska Native peoples can expect to develop dementia in their lifetime.
As someone who has a connection to Alzheimer’s through her husband’s late grandfather, Grandpa Joe, the support of these policies means so much. Knowing Grandpa Joe’s journey with this saddening disease and the impact it had on my extended family inspired me to contribute to efforts combating this disease that affects millions each year. As an Alaskan, I care about ensuring basic resources for Americans with Alzheimer’s and other dementia, and I would like to encourage Rep. Mary Peltola to co-sponsor these Acts as well.
The National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease — which aims to increase research, enhance care, expand support, and reduce risk (among others) — will expire soon if Congress doesn’t renew its commitment to the Alzheimer’s crisis in America.
The Alzheimer’s Accountability and Investment Act will ensure that Congress continues to hear directly from the scientists at the National Institutes of Health about the funding needed for Alzheimer’s research.
It’s time to reauthorize these bills to keep up our momentum in the fight to end Alzheimer’s and all other types of Dementia. Back in April 2023, Peltola appeared on the radio show Talk of Alaska, where she said she would co-sponsor, but months have passed with no sponsorship.
Please join me in asking Rep. Mary Peltola to cosponsor and support the NAPA Reauthorization Act and the Alzheimer’s Accountability and Investment Act. We must continue investing in Alzheimer’s care and research to bring an end to this devastating disease.
Sara Hondel is an advocate and board member for the Alaska Chapter — Alzheimer’s Association and member of Team ‘Kenai ALZ Stars’.