Letter to the editor: Urge action on Alzheimer’s

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Caring for an individual with Alzheimer’s disease is very challenging. I know this well as I cared for my husband, Cliff, for seven years after his diagnosis with Alzheimer’s at the young age of 55. Besides having to coordinate Cliff’s medical, financial and legal affairs, I struggled while watching my dear husband succumb to this devastating disease. Medical professionals gave me little guidance. Luckily, I received education and support from the Colorado Alzheimer’s Association staff and volunteers.

Thankfully, the bipartisan federal Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer’s Act (S.1125/ H.R.2517) would create a path to better dementia care and address shortcomings in the way dementia care is currently delivered. Dementia care management would allow people like me to more seamlessly navigate the health care and social support systems, and to obtain more timely access to care. It is estimated that 92,000 Coloradans will have Alzheimer’s by 2025, so it is critical we find better ways to care for them. By enhancing the coordination of dementia care, we can lessen the burden for individuals and their caregivers while reducing health care costs.

In 2020, caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias provided an estimated 184 million hours of care valued at nearly $3.67 billion in Colorado. Please join me and the Alzheimer’s Association in asking U.S. Reps. Crow, DeGette and Perlmutter to cosponsor the Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer’s Act. To learn more about this disease and how you can join the fight to end Alzheimer’s, visit alzimpact.org.

Mattye Pollard-Cole

Centennial

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