April 5, 2014

Letter: A world without Alzheimer’s

— On April 7-9, more than 800 people living with Alzheimer’s, caregivers and advocates from across the nation will gather in Washington, D.C., for the 26th annual Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum. Representing millions of people impacted by Alzheimer’s across the country, they will engage in the democratic process and appeal to members of Congress for action on Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, there are more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and 15.5 million caregivers. As an Alzheimer’s ambassador, it is my honor to play a role in addressing this rapidly growing health crisis.

In addition to the human toll, Alzheimer’s is the most expensive condition in the nation, costing $214 billion a year. Nearly one in every five dollars spent by Medicare is on people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. and the only cause of death among the top 10 without a way to prevent, stop or even slow its progression. If we could eliminate Alzheimer’s tomorrow, we could save half a million lives a year.

During the week of the forum, please call U.S. Rep. Tom Graves and U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson and ask them to make Alzheimer’s a national priority. We owe it to those who suffer, those who care for those who suffer and those who will suffer in the future.

To learn how you can get involved in the fight against Alzheimer’s, visit alz.org.

Our goal, “A World Without Alzheimer’s.”

Bob Oxford