Apr 24, 2012
Today, on Capitol Hill, Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-35), a congressional leader on Alzheimer’s issues, welcomed members of the Alzheimer’s Association to Washington, DC, and reiterated her strong support for programs to assist Americans affected by Alzheimer’s disease. The advocates came to Washington from all 50 states to bring attention to the needs of Alzheimer’s patients, caregivers, and families during the Alzheimer’s Association’s Annual Advocacy Forum, April 23-25, 2012.
“As a long-time leader of congressional efforts to address the needs Alzheimer’s patients and their families, I welcome you to Capitol Hill, and I will continue to work with you to bring attention to the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s disease on millions of American families,” said Congresswoman Waters. An estimated 5.3 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease, and most of them live at home under the care of family and friends.
Congresswoman Waters also congratulated the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee for recommending an appropriation of $1 million for the Missing Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Alert Program, during its April 19th markup of the fiscal year 2013 CJS appropriations bill. The Congresswoman had previously sent a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the subcommittee requesting a $2 million appropriation for this program. The Congresswoman’s letter was signed by a total of 28 Members of Congress.
“While the Missing Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Alert Program did not receive as much funding as we requested, I was encouraged by the subcommittee’s decision to continue funding this small but important program, and I urge the full Appropriations Committee to increase the funding to $2 million” said Congresswoman Waters.
The Missing Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Alert Program provides grants to non-profit organizations to enable them to establish and operate programs to identify, locate and protect Alzheimer’s patients who wander away from home. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 60% of Alzheimer’s patients are likely to wander, and up to 50% of them will become seriously injured or die if they are not found within 24 hours of their departure from home.
Congresswoman Waters is the author of two bills in the 112th Congress to address the needs of Alzheimer’s patients and their families. The Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act (H.R. 2798) expands training and support services for families and caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients, and the Missing Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Alert Program Reauthorization (H.R. 2800) renews congressional support for the aforementioned program. Both bills have bipartisan support.