Recognizing Those Affected with Alzheimer’s Disease and Celebrating a Call To Action

Today, on International Alzheimer's Action Day, we are recognizing the 5 million people who are living with Alzheimer’s disease and the 15 million families and friends who care for those individuals.

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and one of the few causes without a way to prevent, cure, or even slow its progress.  Every minute and a half someone develops the illness, and currently about 13 percent of Americans age 65 and older are suffering from this devastating disease. As the baby boomer generation continues to age, the number of people living with Alzheimer’s will only increase.  By 2050, as many as 16 million people will have this currently incurable disease.

To address this issue, on January 4, 2011, President Obama signed The National Alzheimer's Project Act. For the first time in history, a national strategy was created to address the rapidly escalating Alzheimer’s crisis. This February, the Administration proposed a historic $156 million investment to tackle Alzheimer’s disease, and in May, the Department of Health and Human Services released the first-ever U.S. National Alzheimer’s Plan.

The National Alzheimer's Project Act not only catalyzes research and Federal efforts to help change the trajectory of Alzheimer’s disease, but also provides a sense of hope to families and other caregivers who experience the tremendous emotional, physical and financial strains of caring for their loved ones.

Today, in addition to recognizing the millions affected by this disease, we celebrate and congratulate the Alzheimer’s Association on their important efforts on the International Day of Action.

Bess Evans is a Policy Analyst at OSTP

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