The Alzheimer’s Association estimates there are more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and more than 15 million Alzheimer’s caregivers. As an Alzheimer’s Ambassador, it is my honor to represent them to our elected officials – Congressman Jerry McNerney and Assemblyman Jim Frazier.
In California, over 630,000 people live with Alzheimer’s dementia, over 19,000 in Contra Costa County. Since 2000, deaths from Alzheimer’s dementia have increased 186%, making it the fifth leading cause of death in the state. And, we’re spending $3.464B in Medicaid caring for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Today, Alzheimer’s dementia is the only disease that we can’t prevent, cure or even slow its progression.
Gladys Jarvie, my mother-in-law, suffered for years with Alzheimer’s dementia. This funny, sharp, loving woman was oh-so-slowly consumed by Alzheimer’s dementia and eventually lost her life.
The Alzheimer’s Association’s most recent study predicts that by 2025, 840,000 Californians 65 and older will have Alzheimer’s dementia – that’s a 33% increase. Plus, the report predicts that Medicaid costs will increase even faster at 47%.
We need to support research to find a cure. That’s why I am urging Congressman Jerry McNerney to support a $414 million increase for federal Alzheimer’s research funding for FY2018.
It is only through adequate funding and a strong implementation of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease that we will meet our goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025.
To learn more about this disease and how you can help combat it, please visit alz.org.