Letter: Alzheimer’s numbers continue to climb

From: Tim Huffman


Over 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease today. If we don’t find a cure, there could be 16 million with Alzheimer’s in 2050, only 35 years from now. In 2015, 11 percent of seniors will have Alzheimer’s disease; in 2050 this could be 16 percent. Additionally, there is more than a $150 billion cost to Medicare and Medicaid annually; this could be over $750 billion annually in 2050.

As a baby boomer and an Alzheimer’s Ambassador, I along with over 900 fellow advocates from around the country will attend the Alzheimer’s Advocacy Forum in Washington, D.C., to continue to urge Congress to make Alzheimer’s disease a national priority. In the past 10 years, deaths due to breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, stroke and HIV have all declined, which is wonderful! However, deaths due to Alzheimer’s have increased 68 percent, and we must continue to fund and support Alzheimer’s research to find a cure as it is becoming a crisis.

Our 6th District congressman, Luke Messer, co-sponsored the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act, a funding bill, and it was included in the fiscal year 2015 federal budget. He was also one of 218 co-sponsors in the House for the Hope for Alzheimer’s Act, a bill to support the health outcomes, planning and education of Alzheimer’s. Other Indiana congressmen co-sponsors were Peter Visclosky, Susan Brooks, Andre Carson and Todd Young. Thank you, Indiana congressmen!

We all must be advocates and urge Congress to improve the lives of those living with dementia and to fund the federal budget to achieve the Alzheimer’s Association’s goal to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease by the year 2025. For more information, visit alz.org/forum. Thank you.