Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: LETTER: Fighting Alzheimer’s

To the editor: The Alzheimer’s Association estimates there are more than 5 million Americans and 7,500 Alaskans living with Alzheimer’s disease.

There are more than 16 million caregivers in America and 33,000 caregivers in our beautiful state of Alaska. As an advocate, it is my honor to represent them.

Congress just passed the Building Our Largest Dementia Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act with a strong bipartisan vote.

I want to thank Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young for being champions in this meaningful legislation.

The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act will allow effective Alzheimer’s public health interventions to be implemented across the country. Because of Sen. Murkowski and the Alaska delegation, we will now be better able to fight this devastating disease as we continue to work toward our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s. And we look forward to seeing them continue to prioritize this disease as a public health crisis that must be addressed.

I lost my mother and three of her sisters to the disease. I know firsthand what Alzheimer’s can do to a family and as a caregiver.

Every 65 seconds someone develops Alzheimer’s disease, which is why Congress must remain committed to action on this catastrophic disease. By applying a public health approach to reduce risk, detect early symptoms and advance care, our Alaska delegation is helping to change the trajectory of this devastating disease. The report also revealed that Alzheimer’s-related costs have soared to $277 billion in the past year, including $186 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid. 

To learn more about Alzheimer’s and how you can join the fight to end Alzheimer’s, visit alz.org. Together we can be part of the first survivor.

Cindy Harris is the Alzheimer’s Association Alaska Ambassador for Soldotna, Alaska.

By:  Cindy Harris
Source: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner