Congress must support BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act (letter)
The human toll of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia is obvious. In Colorado alone, 71,000 people are living with it and 247,000 Coloradans are providing informal (unpaid) care for someone with it. I know the human toll of Alzheimer’s well because three of four parents in my immediate family suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, and we cared for them for a total of 16 years.
According to the 2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, it’s the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the only one with no way to prevent, cure or slow its progression. Deaths from Alzheimer’s nearly doubled in the last 14 years. The report also revealed that Alzheimer’s-related costs soared to $259 billion in 2017, and two-thirds of that cost is borne by Medicare and Medicaid. This number will only grow as more Americans age and are more at-risk for developing Alzheimer’s.
To address this crisis, Congress must act. I want to thank U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet for doing just that by cosponsoring the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. It would establish Centers of Excellence to expand and promote innovative and effective interventions, including promoting early detection and diagnosis and preventing avoidable hospitalizations. Thank you for taking this step to support Colorado’s Alzheimer’s families.