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ICYMI: A March 18, 2016 Daily News opinion piece by UsAgainstAlzheimer’s co-founder Trish Vradenburg underscored the need for all political candidates to address Alzheimer’s. According to Vradenburg, “Now we are neither Democrats nor Republicans. Now we are The Alzheimer’s Party.  Just as this disease is equal opportunity: Ds or Rs; rich or poor; male or female, African-American, Latino or white — we all are at risk…I can see 15 million sure votes here — and that’s just from caregivers of the 5.4 million Alzheimer’s sufferers. But it’s still early. Other candidates can also announce a plan to stop Alzheimer’s.  I eagerly invite them to do just that. Consider this: right now Alzheimer’s costs the U.S. over $200 billion a year and, yet, we’re spending less than $1 billion on research. Crazy, no? If you think research is expensive, try disease.”

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A March 30, 2016 NPR.org radio segment and article highlighted the financial toll of Alzheimer’s on families. According to the article, “‘It's a challenge for almost every family that we see,’ says Dr. Pierre Tariot, a geriatric psychiatrist and director of the Banner Alzheimer's Institute in Phoenix. ‘We do see folks who are lucky and have considerable resources. But even for those families it's a major financial obligation.’ And it's not realistic to expect every family to absorb the cost, Tariot says. ‘Ultimately,’ he says, ‘society will need to think of other ways of funding care for our elders as they become vulnerable.’”

A March 30, 2016 CBS News article reported on the “startling” sacrifices Alzheimer’s caregivers make. According to the article, “According to the Alzheimer's Association's 2016 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report, many caregivers put off their own medical care, sell their cars to raise money, draw from funds meant for their kids' education, and even cut back on food to support a loved one with Alzheimer's. On average, the report found they spent more than $5,000 a year of their own money to care for someone with Alzheimer's disease, but amounts varied widely and some spent far more.”

A March 30, 2016 The Columbus Dispatch article profiled one Ohio family’s struggle with the cost of Alzheimer’s care. According to the article, “Although some of the strain has been lessened, Deneen Day still has to pay for whatever her mom’s pension won’t pick up, and the amount likely will grow as her mom becomes more frail. She estimates she spends as much as $2,000 a month on her mother’s prescriptions, unpaid medical bills, supplies such as adult diapers, prepaid funeral expenses and other bills still owed for the adult day care program. ‘If only there were some tax benefits or I could claim her as a dependent,’ Day said.”

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