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Alzheimer's care

Published May 16, 2012 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

On April 25, six Utahns representing the Utah chapter of the Alzheimer's Association visited Utah's two U.S. senators and three representatives to advocate for legislation for early diagnosis, care and research funding for this disease, the sixth leading cause of death in America. Every Alzheimer ambassador has a family member with this dreadful illness.

Currently, there are 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer's. Payments for care in 2012 will be $200 billion. At the present rate of growth (the highest of any disease), the number of victims will reach nearly 15 million by 2050, with care costs surpassing $1.1 trillion!

We hope that our work in Washington had positive effects. However, for our voice to have its full impact, our legislators need to hear from the thousands of Utah friends and family members who care for loved ones who are slowly and sadly fading into the Alzheimer's abyss.

Please, contact your senators and representative, and urge them to cosponsor the Health Outcomes, Planning, and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer's Act (S.738/H.R.1386) and the Alzheimer's Breakthrough Act (H.R.1897).

The need for action is immediate and critical.

Al Smith

Salt Lake City