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Early Onset Alzheimer’s Awareness, the Caregivers Act and why we need to push congress to act now!

Dear Editor:

I am a surviving caregiver to my spouse who passed away from younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease and complications of Diabetes in 2019. My husband was a diabetic who was responsible for administering his own medication. Having a memory disorder was a lethal combination. This caused tremendous stress on me as the caregiver to continuously monitor and manage these diseases, constantly in panic for his health. As a matter of fact, nearly half of dementia caregivers (49%) indicate that providing help is highly stressful compared with 35% of caregivers of people without dementia. It was challenging to navigate both diseases while ensuring we could cover the costs.

The bipartisan Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer’s Act (S.1125/ H.R.2517) would create a path to better dementia care and address shortcomings in the way dementia care is currently delivered. This legislation would call on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to test a model for dementia care management. Elements of dementia care management include care coordination and navigation, management of chronic conditions, and caregiver education and support.

Please join me and the Alzheimer’s Association in asking Congressman Albio Sires to co-sponsor the Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer’s Act. To learn more about this disease and how you can join the fight to end Alzheimer’s, visit alzimpact.org.

Sharon Harrington
Alzheimer’s Association Ambassador, NJ 08
Hoboken, New Jersey

 

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