Charlotte, NC – July 12, 2018: Advocates of the Alzheimer’s Association – Western Carolina Chapter recently joined more than 1,000 fellow advocates from across the country on Capitol Hill to advance legislative policies that will improve the lives of over 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s. Today, more than 110,000 in 49 central and western North Carolina counties are living with Alzheimer’s and another 330,000 are providing unpaid care.
Convening June 17-19 in Washington, D.C. for the Alzheimer’s Association AIM Advocacy Forum, the nation’s premier Alzheimer’s disease advocacy event, Vivian King of Greensboro, N.C. met with staff of U.S. Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC 6th District).
“This was my first time attending the Alzheimer’s Association AIM Advocacy Forum, but will not be my last!,” said King who is a biology master’s student at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University and whose great-grandmother had dementia. “It was so inspiring to hear all of the work that is being done in North Carolina and other states to advocate for Alzheimer’s funding, research and legislation.”
In particular, advocates urged their members of Congress to pass two bipartisan bills that are critical to the fight against Alzheimer’s: the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act (S. 2076/H.R. 4256) and the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA) (S. 693/ H.R.R 1676).
If passed, the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act would apply a public health approach to Alzheimer’s disease by establishing a modern infrastructure for the prevention, treatment, and care of Alzheimer’s and other dementias. PCHETA, would ensure America has an adequate, well-trained palliative care and hospice workforce through worker training, education and awareness, and enhanced research.
Advocates also urged their members of Congress to support a $425 million increase for research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Alzheimer’s disease for fiscal year 2019—an increase that is necessary to address the mounting public health crisis and cost of Alzheimer’s, the most expensive disease in America.
Alzheimer’s is the only leading cause of death in America without a way to prevent, cure, or even slow its progression. Consequently, in 2018 alone, Alzheimer’s and other dementias are expected to cost the United States $277 billion, with $186 billion being borne by Medicare and Medicaid, meaning 1 in every 5 Medicare dollars will be spent on a person with Alzheimer’s.
Added King, “I loved being able to network with other scientists and professionals who are working to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s and was also thrilled to meet other young advocates who are committed to spreading awareness about Alzheimer’s. Sometimes the fight feels frustrating, but it is reassuring to know that I am not in this fight alone.”
King is completing her thesis research with the Center for Outreach in Alzheimer’s, Aging and Community Health (COAACH), which focuses on understanding the relationship between diabetes and cognitive decline in African Americans. In addition to her research, she is the president of a student-led organization, Aggies Against Alzheimer’s, which aims to support NC A&T students who are caregivers, raise awareness among students about Alzheimer’s disease, and encourage students to peruse careers in aging.
“These advocates know first-hand that an early diagnosis offers many benefits, including access to more effective medical and lifestyle interventions and the ability to take an active role in planning with family members for the future,” said Katherine L. Lambert, CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association – Western Carolina Chapter.
Together with these advocates from western North Carolina and across the country, the Alzheimer’s Association commemorated the annual Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month by highlighting resources that can help individuals in the wake of a diagnosis, including offering 10 Steps to Take Following an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis, as well as 10 Warning Signs to help people understand early symptoms of Alzheimer’s or behaviors that merit discussion.
To learn more about the Alzheimer’s Association AIM Advocacy Forum, visit alz.org/forum.
Additional Facts and Figures: (http://www.alz.org/facts/)
- One in 10 people age 65 and older (10 percent) has Alzheimer’s dementia.
- An estimated 5.7 million Americans, including 170,000 North Carolina residents, are living with Alzheimer’s, a number estimated to grow to as many as 16 million by year 2050.
- Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women.
- African-Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older whites.
- Hispanics are about one and one-half times as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older whites.
About the Alzheimer’s Association:
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s.
About the Alzheimer’s Association – Western Carolina Chapter:
The Western Carolina Chapter provides patient and family services, information and referral, education, and advocacy in the 49 central and western North Carolina counties that serves over 110,000 people currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and their 330,000 caregivers in these counties. We provide a variety of services including a 24/7 Helpline, support groups, educational programs, and MedicAlert®. We offer opportunities to get involved and to make a difference. For more information about Alzheimer’s disease or the Alzheimer’s Association Western Carolina Chapter, visit www.alz.org/northcarolina or call (800) 272-3900. For the latest news and updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Category: Press Release