More than five million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and by 2050 that number is expected to grow to 14 million; Caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, who number nearly 16 million, report high levels of stress and depression, which resulted in $10.2 billion in additional health costs for Alzheimer’s caregivers in 2015
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have reintroduced legislation to expand training and support services for families and caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. More than five million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and by 2050 that number is expected to grow to 14 million. Caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, who number nearly 16 million, report higher levels of stress and depression than those who provide care to individuals without dementia, which resulted in $10.2 billion in additional health costs for Alzheimer’s caregivers in 2015. The Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act would authorize grants to public and non-profit organizations to expand training and support services that improve caregiver health and delay long-term care facility admissions by keeping loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in their homes longer.
“Watching a loved one suffer from Alzheimer’s or related dementia is tragic—for the 16 million Americans who are also the primary caregivers for family members, life is even more challenging because they often lack the resources and support they need while providing nearly 18 billion hours of uncompensated care annually,” Klobuchar said. “Our bipartisan bill will expand training and support services for caregivers to improve their well-being and health. It will also allow patients to stay in the comfort of their homes longer, improving their quality of life.”
“Millions of Americans devote enormous time and attention and make many personal and financial sacrifices to ensure that their loved ones have the high-quality care they need day in and day out. These individuals know all too well the compassion, commitment, and endurance that it takes to be a caregiver of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease,” Collins, the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, said. “Our bipartisan legislation would help expand the availability of resources and training services to provide caregivers with the support they need.”
“The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America thanks Senator Klobuchar and Senator Collins for working in a bipartisan manner to address the growing public health epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease. Millions of Americans are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease right now; access to support services is essential for every one of them, especially in the absence of a cure,” said Alzheimer’s Foundation of America President and CEO Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. “The Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act is a win for everyone; it will provide greater support for families affected by Alzheimer’s disease while helping to lower overall care costs. We look forward to working with federal policymakers to continue building on the progress they’ve made and take the next step forward in the fight against Alzheimer’s by passing this important legislation.”
“On behalf of the more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and their more than 16 million caregivers, the Alzheimer’s Association is proud to support the Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act. This legislation would expand and improve access to training and support services for families and caregivers of those living with the disease,” said Robert Egge, Alzheimer’s Association Chief Public Policy Officer. “Caring for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is both emotionally and financially straining. This important legislation would help to alleviate some of the financial burden, and importantly allow for family caregivers to receive the training and support necessary to provide quality care for their loved ones.”
Klobuchar and Collins introduced a bipartisan resolution declaring that the goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer's by 2025 is an "urgent national priority." In March 2018, they successfully increased National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for Alzheimer’s disease research by more than $400 million.