Seeks to Provide Better Care and Support to Alzheimer’s Patients
Today, Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-05) became a co-sponsor of the Alzheimer’s Treatment and Caregiver Support Act. The bill would expand treatment and support services for Americans affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
“Millions of Americans suffer from this disease, and have to rely on their family members and loved ones for support. They provide comfort and care to the victims of Alzheimer’s; we, in turn, should give them the tools they need to ease their burden,” said Rep. Matsui.
Alzheimer’s disease currently affects more than 4.5 million Americans over the age of 65, and this number could triple by the year 2050. Ten percent of Americans over 65 and almost half of Americans over 85 suffer from this disease. More than 70 percent of Alzheimer’s patients live at home under the care of family or friends.
Caregivers face a variety of challenges, from assisting patients with bathing and dressing, to managing their finances and making legal decisions. Nursing home care for Alzheimer’s patients costs an average of $42,000 per year and places additional challenges on family members who want to remain involved in the lives of their loved ones.
The Alzheimer’s Treatment and Caregiver Support Act would provide grants to public and non-profit organizations to improve treatment services for Alzheimer’s patients and expand training and support services for families and caregivers. Grant recipients would be required to employ a comprehensive approach to care that integrates patient treatment with training and support services. Expanding access to these services would improve the ability of caregivers to provide effective, compassionate care and allow more people with Alzheimer’s disease to remain in their homes with people who love them.
“As people are living longer and longer, and more Americans are approaching an age where they are at risk for developing Alzheimer’s, we need to make sure that their caregivers can adequately provide them with support. Until we find a cure for Alzheimer’s, we have a duty to make sure that those who suffer from the disease as comfortable as they can be,” said Rep. Matsui.