ClergyAgainstAlzheimer's Launches to Bring New Urgency and Dimension to the Impact of Alzheimer's on American Families

Ranit Schmelzer, 202-538-1065, rschmelzer@usagainstalzheimers.org

Washington, DC – USAgainstAlzheimer’s, the national movement committed to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s by 2020, today officially launched ClergyAgainstAlzheimer’s, a diverse, multifaith network of clergy working to focus our nation’s attention on the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on American families.

The mission of ClergyAgainstAlzheimer’s is to promote dignity, compassionate care and quality of life for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, and to provide support for families and caregivers, as we work together to stop Alzheimer’s by 2020.

“Alzheimer’s disease presents a moral imperative for action at a scale equal to the grave and growing threat it presents to our families and families around the world,” said George Vradenburg, Founder and Chairman of USAgainstAlzheimer’s.  “This network harnesses the powerful and ardent pleas of men and women of all faiths for urgent action to advance the goals of better care, improved treatment, prevention and ultimately a cure for the tens of millions of families experiencing this disease globally.” 

ClergyAgainstAlzheimer’s will publish a first-of-its-kind interfaith book of meditations for caregivers this fall titled, “Seasons of Caring: Meditations for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers.”  The volume will address the unique challenges faced by Alzheimer’s caregivers and send a strong message about the breadth of faith leaders who are united in the struggle against Alzheimer’s.  The book will have original selections by clergy from all faiths, offering hope, encouragement, empathy and understanding. 

ClergyAgainstAlzheimer’s more than 110 founding members represent a wide spectrum of faith traditions from across the country, including Presbyterian, Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, Jewish, Muslim, Methodist and Episcopal among others.  As leaders of congregations and faith communities, founders are at the forefront of pastoral care for those with Alzheimer's, eldercare issues, hospice care and the dementia friendly communities movement – all with a focus on the broader subject of spirituality and aging.  Many ClergyAgainstAlzheimer’s founders are also educators, authors and recognized public speakers.  A list of the founding members can be found here.  Quotes from founding members, representing numerous denominations, are available here.

ClergyAgainstAlzheimer’s is a network of USAgainstAlzheimer’s, an engaged and enraged community of individuals who have been personally touched by Alzheimer’s disease and are united by frustration at a status quo system that is moving too slowly and with no sense of urgency.  Co-founded and chaired by George and Trish Vradenburg, USAgainstAlzheimer’s is dedicated to mobilizing individuals to express the passion of American families and demand the commitment needed from our political, business and civic leaders to achieve the goal of ending Alzheimer’s by 2020.

Alzheimer’s is officially the sixth leading cause of death, but recent analysis shows that it is actually the third leading cause of death.  It is the only disease in the top ten that currently has no cure, treatment, or prevention.  Yet it receives dramatically less industry focus and scientific attention than other less widespread diseases.

The annual cost of care to society for Alzheimer’s disease today is $200 billion. We spend 400 times more on care for Alzheimer’s patients than we do on researching a cure.  No other investment would lower the costs of Medicare and Medicaid more than a medical breakthrough to prevent the onset or find a cure for Alzheimer’s.  Without progress, Alzheimer’s could cost the U.S. over one trillion dollars per year by 2050, causing a significant blow to the U.S. economy. 

Note:  To interview George Vradenburg or a member of ClergyAgainstAlzheimer’s, please contact Ranit Schmelzer at rschmelzer@usagainstalzheimers.org or 202-538-1065.

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USAgainstAlzheimer's is an entrepreneurial and disruptive organization demanding a solution to Alzheimer's by 2020. Driven by the suffering of millions of families USAgainstAlzheimer’s presses for greater urgency from government, industry and the scientific community in the quest for an Alzheimer's cure – accomplishing this through effective leadership, collaborative advocacy, and strategic investments. For more information, visit www.usagainstalzheimers.org.

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