It is time we change our thinking on Alzheimer's disease. Too often Alzheimer's and other dementias are treated as an aging issue, ignoring the public health consequences of a disease that someone in the U.S. develops every 66 seconds.

Alzheimer's is the most expensive disease in the U.S. With two-thirds of its annual costs being borne by Medicare and Medicaid, it is an issue that demands more attention from our government.

I cared for my husband for 14 years after an Alzheimer's diagnosis and realize an improved care system is essential. I understand the physical and emotional costs of the disease.

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Congress has a chance to take decisive action passing the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act (S. 2076/H.R. 4256), endorsed by the Alzheimer's Association. This new bill would create an Alzheimer's public health infrastructure across the country to implement effective Alzheimer's interventions like increasing early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk, and preventing avoidable hospitalizations.

I thank Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch for coniuing their fight for the five million Americans living with Alzheimer's by cosponsoring the BOLD Act. I hope that Congressman Raul Labrador will join in cosponsoring this legislation.

—Linda Budolfson

 

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