To the Editor:
This past week my wife and I traveled to Washington, D.C., to discuss the impact and cost of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia. We met with Sen. Collins, Sen. King and Rep. Poliquin, who are in favor of adding $425 million dollars to research, passing the BOLD Act, and educating providers on palliative and hospice care.
The human and financial toll of Alzheimer’s is great, and affects both the lives of the individuals and people around them. I had to stop teaching three years ago at 56 to care for my wife full time who was diagnosed with younger onset Alzheimer’s six years ago, after being brushed off and told she “was too young to have Alzheimer’s” by her primary care provider.
The BOLD Act would provide crucial investment by establishing Alzheimer’s centers of excellence across the country to provide early diagnosis and prevent avoidable hospitalizations.
I’m hopeful that The Jackson Lab right here in Maine could become one of these centers.
Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause of death without a way to prevent, cure, or even slow its progression. One in every five Medicare dollars is spent on someone with Alzheimer’s.
While it is probably too late for my wife, Jackie, to benefit from these programs, I urge you to let Congress know you are in favor of them in order to prevent your loved ones and future generations from going through this horrible disease.