The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

Writer applauds legislation that provides care for early-onset Alzheimer's disease

 


Dear Editor:

I’m so grateful that in all its understandable focus on the COVID-19 virus, Congress did not lose sight of the need to improve care and support for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementia.

Approximately 5% of the more than five million Americans living today with Alzheimer’s have younger onset. Until now, these folks have been ineligible to receive vital Older Americans Act help like nutritional programs, in-home services, transportation, legal services, elder-abuse prevention and caregiver support.

I lost my mother way too soon to Alzheimer’s and that emptiness in my life will never be replaced. Still, it’s not just important to me, no one want their children and grandchildren to experience the loss of any loved one years before they pass; because that’s what it does. Alzheimer’s eats away the essence of its victim and they literally disappear in front of your eyes! Plus, as one who works delivering services to seniors, I know the heavy burden that families carry: emotionally, financially and physically!

I am also grateful that Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers responded to Alzheimer’s Association advocates who urged co-sponsorship of a bill to let area agencies on aging give support to those with younger onset Alzheimer’s and she worked successfully to pass it into law.

All our members of Congress should continue to actively support policies that address Alzheimer’s disease as the national public health crisis it is.

Yours very truly,

Jenny Gower

Spokane

 

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