Member: Alzheimer’s Association
Building on the Association’s commitment to provide a platform for those directly affected by Alzheimer’s, the Association and its more than 70 Chapters nationwide hosted 132 input sessions throughout the country. “Alzheimer’s from the Frontlines” provides a rare and unique window into the real, unrelenting challenges the disease forces on families year after year. Currently the sixth leading cause of death, Alzheimer’s is the only cause among the top 10 in the U.S. without a means to prevent, cure or even slow its progress.A new report, “Alzheimer’s from the Frontlines: Challenges a National Alzheimer’s Plan Must Address,” offers the insights, perspectives and views from individuals across the country who participated in the Alzheimer’s Association’s public input process. More than 43,000 Americans representing all 50 states participated in the process leading to this report. The Alzheimer’s Association brought together those with Alzheimer’s, caregivers, providers, researchers, health care professionals, community leaders, and many other stakeholders as part of a broad effort to identify the most critical challenges and policy priorities for a National Alzheimer’s Plan.
Today an estimated 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease and by 2050 as many as 16 million Americans will have the disease. Beyond the sheer numbers of lives touched by the disease, Alzheimer’s will also be a financial albatross to the nation’s health care system, surpassing $1 trillion in costs annually by mid-century unless the trajectory of the disease is changed. Advocates from across the nation were essential to the enactment of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, which creates a framework for a national plan and coordinates efforts across the federal government.
“Individuals, families and communities are at the center of the escalating Alzheimer’s crisis. Thousands of these individuals shared their experiences from the frontlines,” said Harry Johns, President and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association. “Americans who participated in this process want the nation’s leaders to know Alzheimer’s forever changes lives. In the end, these individuals want and deserve a transformational plan that urgently addresses their needs.”
Ten key challenges emerged repeatedly throughout the public input process, among them increasing awareness of the impact of Alzheimer’s, fostering an environment that offers more effective treatments faster, providing better care throughout the disease process, ensuring better support today for caregivers and reducing the disparities that exist among diverse and underserved communities.
“It’s clear that those who participated in these input sessions do not want this opportunity to be a symbolic overture but instead the beginning of real, transformational action,” said Robert Egge, Vice President for the Alzheimer’s Association. “We hope those developing the National Alzheimer’s Plan will be inspired and guided by the challenges, experiences and needs echoed throughout the report.”
The full text of the report can be found here.