Weekly Feature



2018-09-12 / Editorials

More support needed for Alzheimer’s cure

It is estimated that approximately 44 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia, but even that gigantic number doesn’t properly define just how malicious the disease is.

The effects of Alzheimer’s reach well beyond the patient. Often, the caregivers and family members of those afflicted endure equivalent pain and feelings of hopelessness.

The Alzheimer’s Association has become more aggressive than ever in raising awareness for the many services and tools offered to families dealing with the disease. Local chapters of the organization exist nationwide, while the free helpline (800-272-3900) answers more than 300,000 annually and provides translation services in more than 200 languages. It is staffed by specialists and master’s-level clinicians who offer information and referrals. The organization offers support groups for caregivers and others dealing with Alzheimer’s and other dementias throughout communities. It also offers comprehensive online resources and information through its Alzheimer’s and dementia caregiving section, which features sections on early-stage, middle-stage and late-stage caregiving.

Needed support is also being offered from the federal government. In January, the president signed into law the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage Family Caregivers Act of 2017.

Endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement, the RAISE Family Caregivers Act furthers efforts to address Alzheimer’s disease, as well as expand and enhance training, education and support for caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Caregiving can often be a drain both emotionally and financially. It frequently becomes a full-time job, and those who have not experienced it firsthand are rarely equipped to deal with the demanding roles that a caregiver fulfills.

With continued governmental support and the unending efforts of volunteers and organizers nationwide, the future for those affected by Alzheimer’s has never looked brighter.

Through the Alzheimer’s Association International Research Grant Program, the organization has awarded more than $410 million to roughly 2,700 scientific investigations since 1982.

As the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research, the Alzheimer’s Association hopes to continue its commitment to accelerating the global progress toward methods of treatments, prevention and ultimately, a cure.

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