Letter: Standing up for Colorado’s dementia caregivers | VailDaily.com

Letter: Standing up for Colorado’s dementia caregivers

Today, 73,000 Coloradans are living with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. Last year, 252,000 of their family members and friends provided 287 million hours of unpaid care to support their journey living with the disease. I witnessed what being one of those caregivers did to my parents for 10 years. November is National Family Caregivers Month. Congress should honor dementia caregivers by making their efforts easier.

Care planning allows people with dementia and their families to plan for the future and learn about clinical trials and support services in their community. Individuals receiving dementia-specific care planning have fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits and are better able to manage their medications. This not only helps the person with dementia, but it also lowers health care costs.

Thankfully, Medicare covers care planning services. The problem is that most people don’t know that. The Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act (HR 1873/S 880) would help educate health care providers about this coverage so that they can help connect more people to these services.

Thank you, Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Scott Tipton for standing up for Colorado’s dementia caregivers by actively supporting this legislation in Congress. I hope Sen. Cory Gardner joins you soon. Caregiving is hard. Thanks for trying to make it a little easier.

Meaghan Ziegler

Carbondale