WASHINGTON, DC – Young seniors in the early stages of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, are a step closer to much needed support programs available under the Older Americans Act [OAA] with the passage in the House of Representatives earlier this week of the OAA Reauthorization, reports the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC].
The Reauthorization legislation would expand access to some OAA services to individuals under 60 years of age who suffer from early onset of the illness. It now goes to the Senate for a vote where it has broad-based bipartisan backing.
“The onslaught of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, in particular, has had a devastating impact on our nation in recent years. It is now the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. The number of people afflicted by Alzheimer’s is fast approaching six million, including hundreds of thousands of individuals under the age of 65,” according to AMAC’s president Dan Weber.
Weber points out that in addition to “the tragic consequences” the disease has on its victims and their caregivers; it also has a major negative effect on the U.S. economy. In fact, he says, it is the most expensive illness plaguing America today, more costly than cancer and heart disease.
The Alzheimer’s Association says Alzheimer’s and other dementias come with a 2019 price tag of $290 billion, including $195 billion in Medicare and Medicaid payments. The Association estimates that by 2050 the disease will cost those two agencies $770 billion.
Says Weber, “the House has done its job with its passage of its more inclusive Older American Act Reauthorization. Now it is up to the Senate to ignore party politics and pass the reauthorization legislation so that it can be sent to President Trump in a timely fashion.”
Senator Susan Collins, R-ME, is the founder of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease. As she put it in an Alzheimer’s Association report, all Americans with the disease need to have access to the care, support and resources they need. “Whether someone is older than 60 or younger than 60 when he or she is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the progression of this terrible disease is the same. Since Alzheimer’s is not restricted by age, neither should the programs designed to assist these Americans and their families.”
The Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] [https://www.amac.us], with 2 million members, is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members. We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today. Live long and make a difference by joining us today at https://amac.us/join-amac.