More than 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day. Age is one of the greatest known risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. But that’s not always the case. My husband Ernie was diagnosed at 53. My children were 8, 12 and 20. The day of his diagnosis was his last day of work. I cared for him at home until it was no longer safe for him to be alone. Ernie died at 58.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, including 200,000 with younger onset.
Alzheimer’s is not a Republican or Democratic issue. Congress recognized this when they unanimously passed the National Alzheimer’s Project Act to create our country’s first National Alzheimer’s Plan. It’s time for them to come together once more.
I urge President Obama and Congress to put aside damaging partisan politics and commit the necessary resources to change the trajectory of the disease for those living with Alzheimer’s today and the millions who will face it tomorrow. Please contact Rep. Frank Wolf and ask him to support funding for the National Alzheimer’s Plan. Visit alz.org/napa to learn how you can become involved with the fight against Alzheimer’s.
The writer serves as Alzheimer’s Association Ambassador to Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Dist. 10).