Become an Advocate for Alzheimer’s

March 27, 2015  
Filed under News

ALZ Advocates_2015_opt

By Dan Bean

Last month, the Vermont Statehouse was brightened by the purple sashes of advocates for continued funding for Alzheimer’s research who came to Montpelier to meet with their local representatives. Concurrently, Vermont Chapter Executive Director Martha Richardson, Dr. Susan Wehry, Commissioner of the Dept. of Aging and Independent Living, Dr. Karen Hein of the Green Mountain Care Board and Tara Graham, Executive Director of The Arbors, were testifying before the House Committee on Human Services.
A recent report from the  Alzheimer’s Association highlighted the fact that the $600 million in this year’s federal budget is well below the $2 billion-a-year level that most experts feel is necessary to reach the goal of a treatment or cure by 2025, the deadline established by Congress in its National Alzheimer’s Plan. If such a treatment, (which would delay of the onset of Alzheimer’s by five years) were implemented by that deadline, it would save the government $220 billion in five years, and repay the investment in three years.
Today, five million Americans have Alzheimer’s. Estimates predict 13 to 16 million will by 2050.  With an effective treatment, that number could be 8 million.
While the Vermont representatives support this effort, the bottom line is that the U.S. Congress must be convinced that such an investment has to be made, and soon.
To become an Advocate for Alzheimer’s, contact the Vermont chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association at 316-3839 or visit www.alz.org/vermont.

Dan Bean is an Ambassador Advocate for the Alzheimer’s Association Vermont Chapter.

 

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