During National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, we acknowledge the efforts to combat Alzheimer’s disease, which robs too many older Americans of their cherished memories, their independence, and ultimately their lives. We reaffirm our commitment to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, to end the suffering experienced by as many as 5.7 million Americans estimated to have this terrible illness, and to prevent it from affecting the millions more who may be diagnosed with it in the next 30 years.
My Administration is working with scientific and caregiving communities to advance groundbreaking research, ensure optimal medical care, and support long-term services for Alzheimer’s patients and their families. For example, this year, the Health Resources and Services Administration established a new training curriculum to support healthcare providers and caregivers who work with dementia patients. In March, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) convened a summit of biomedical researchers, caregiving professionals, and advocates to identify new opportunities to advance the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease and its goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias by 2025.
In September, NIH launched a nationwide Eureka prize competition to spur private-sector innovation and development of technology-based approaches to improve dementia care. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a new Healthy Brain Initiative Road Map to Address Dementia that identifies 25 priority actions for public health professionals to improve the health and well-being of those with dementia and their caregivers. In addition, the Administration for Community Living is working with States to support people with dementia who live alone by improving quality of services and training for caregivers. Through efforts like these, we are supporting researchers, families, caregivers, and clinical professionals as they work to improve the quality of life for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
While there is still much to be done, there has been real progress toward achieving our goal of beating Alzheimer’s disease. We recognize the millions of Americans who provide patient, loving care to those with dementia. Together, we will continue to move closer to a future where all Americans have a greater opportunity to enjoy fully the blessings of their golden years.