November 2009

Alzheimer’s Treatment and Caregiver Support Act Introduced in Congress

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) introduced the Alzheimer’s Treatment and Caregiver Support Act (H.R. 4123) in the U.S. House of Representatives this month.  The goals of this legislation are to improve treatment services for Alzheimer’s patients and to expand support and education networks for caregivers.  Provisions in the bill would increase grants to both public and not-for-profit groups that provide integrated and comprehensive treatment services to those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia, particularly in underserved communities.  The bill is supported by more than 50 cosponsors in the House, and similar legislation was introduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Alzheimer’s disease currently affects 5.3 million Americans.  The introduction of these bills is an example of growing awareness on Capitol Hill for the devastating impact Alzheimer’s disease has on patients and their families and the need for urgent action to help relieve these burdens.

To read Congresswoman Waters’ bill, click here.

2009 National Memory Screening Day Promoted Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness

The 7th annual National Memory Screening Day was held on November 17, 2009.  Across the country, healthcare professionals provided confidential screenings and educational materials at community sites.    Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, released a statement encouraging Americans to make use of the free screenings offered on this day and reiterating Congress’s commitment to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s. A piece by AFA CEO Eric Hall was published in The Huffington Post highlighting the specific benefits of these memory screening events.  According to Hall, “A memory screening is really just a simple and safe evaluation tool that assesses memory and other intellectual functions and indicates whether additional testing is necessary.”“ The AFA’s aim is to emphasize prevention and healthy aging through the memory screening events, while addressing the inadequacies that exist in our healthcare system for detecting the early signs of dementia.

To read the statement from Senator Kohl, click here.

To read the Huffington Post piece featuring Eric Hall, click here.