WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s Submits Testimony to Senate Finance Committee, Subcommittee on Health, Urging Members to Support Current and Future Legislation that Aids Alzheimer’s Patients and Caregivers

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WASHINGTON, DC, July 13, 2016—Following a Senate Finance Committee, Subcommittee on Health, briefing, “Alzheimer’s Disease: The Struggle for Families, a Looming Crisis for Medicare,” WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s (WA2), an UsAgainst’Azheimer’s network, submitted a statement for the record, outlining the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on women, emphasizing the need for sex and gender differentiated research, as well as asking committee members to co-sponsor legislation that supports caregivers – the majority of whom are women.

In particular, the statement, authored by WA2 President Jill Lesser, called for members to co-sponsor the Alzheimer’s Beneficiary and Caregiver Support Act (S. 3137), which would provide Alzheimer’s disease caregiver support services to informal or non-paid caregivers to both keep patients in the home setting for longer periods of time and improve the quality of life of caregivers, ultimately resulting in lower Medicare and Medicaid program costs. The legislation was introduced last week by Senators Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).

Statistics underscore the impact of the disease on women. Women are twice as likely to suffer from dementia, and about 70% of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers are women, which impacts their participation in the job market. Moreover, half of women caregivers alter or have to stop working due to the demands of caregiving for their loved one. In addition, 75% worry about caregiving’s toll on their own health.

“We look forward to working with all of the members of the Committee to alleviate the burdens of Alzheimer’s disease on a growing number of American families,” Lesser said. “Waiting to enact important Alzheimer’s legislation is not an option.”

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UsAgainstAlzheimer’s (UsA2) is an innovative non-profit organization demanding – and delivering – a solution to Alzheimer’s. 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.

Founded in 2010, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s has worked across sectors to: (1) secure the national goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025 and help secure nearly $500 million in additional public funding for Alzheimer’s research over the past few years; (2) drive global efforts that resulted in the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations, the G7 group, to embrace a similar 2025 goal and to call for greater levels of research investment and collaboration; and (3) forge industry commitments to improve efficiencies for an expedited drug discovery and approval process.

As a member of the UsAgainstAlzheimer's Network, WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s unites womenacross the globe to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. Our growing network of women is impatient with the slow progress being made in the Alzheimer’s fight and, driven by our passion, is committed to ending current “business-as usual” approaches to funding, research and advocacy to bring Alzheimer’s out of the shadows and into the spotlight. Because women won’t wait.

Contact: Tim Tassa

Phone: 202-263-2580

Email: ttassa@usagainstalzheimers.org