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An estimated 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, including one in eight Americans over 65 and nearly half of Americans over 85.  Sixty percent of Alzheimer's patients are likely to wander from their homes.  Wanderers are vulnerable to dehydration, weather conditions, traffic hazards, and individuals who prey on those who are defenseless. Up to 50 percent of wandering Alzheimer's patients will become seriously injured or die if they are not found within 24 hours of their departure from home.

To assist vulnerable Alzheimer’s patients and their families, I introduced H.R. 908, which reauthorizes, updates and expands the Missing Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Alert Program, a Department of Justice program which helps local communities and law enforcement quickly identify persons with Alzheimer’s disease who wander away or are missing and reunite them with their families.

Since it was established more than 10 years ago, the Missing Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Alert Program has funded a national registry of more than 172,000 individuals at risk of wandering and has reunited over 12,000 wanderers with their families.  The program has a 98% success rate in recovering enrollees who are reported missing, and 88% of registrants who wander are found within the first four hours of being reported missing. 

The House of Representatives passed H.R. 908 in February of 2009.

Also, I introduced the Alzheimer’s Treatment and Caregiver Support Act (H.R. 4123), to improve treatment services for Alzheimer’s patients and expand training and support services for their families and caregivers, and H. Res. 910, National Memory Screening Day,  to promote awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, to support the development of a national health policy on dementia screening and care, and to encourage Americans concerned about memory loss to be screened.

More on Alzheimer's

October 22, 2019 Press Release

Reps. Maxine Waters & Chris Smith Urge Robust Funding for Alzheimer’s Programs

December 21, 2018 Press Release

Rep. Waters Applauds the Passage of the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act

WASHINGTON -- Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), the Co-Chair of the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, applauded the passage of S. 2076, the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act.  The bill passed the House of Representatives on December 19th by an overwhelming vote of 361 to 3, after passing the Senate by a voice vote on December 12th, and is expected to be signed into law.

December 7, 2017 Press Release

Rep. Waters Commends Colleagues for Introducing Senate Companion to her Alzheimer’s Stamp Bill

Calls for Robust Funding of Alzheimer’s Research

December 1, 2017 Press Release

U.S. Postal Service Agrees to Rep. Waters’ Request for a New Alzheimer’s Stamp

Stamp Will Promote Public Awareness and Raise Funds for Research

October 2, 2017 Press Release

Postal Service Accepts Requests from Waters and Cummings to Issue New Alzheimer’s Awareness Stamp

Stamp Will Raise Funds for Research and Treatment of Disease

June 21, 2017 Press Release


June 21, 2017

Contact: Twaun Samuel or Rykia Dorsey

Phone: (202) 225-2201

Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Congressman Chris Smith Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Confront the Challenges of Alzheimer’s Disease

April 19, 2017 Press Release


Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee and Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, called for robust funding for Alzheimer’s research and patient support programs in fiscal year 2018. The funding requests were included in four letters to leaders of the House Committee on Appropriations, which were signed by many of the Congresswoman’s congressional colleagues.


January 4, 2016 In The News

Sarah Wire asked members of California’s congressional delegation about goals for 2016.

They ranged from the professional — Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) said he has ideas about reining in the National Security Agency and Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton) is looking for bipartisanship — to the lighthearted — Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford) wants to see more of his kids’ swim meets and Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) hopes to see Cal State Fullerton win the College World Series.

December 29, 2015 In The News

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, delivered good news to attendees at the Actively Caring Through Sharing Support Group for Women and Men Caregivers Meeting (ACTS) on Saturday, December 19, 2015 in Los Angeles.

As a longtime advocate for Alzheimer’s disease caregivers, the Congresswoman educated the caregivers on the robust funding for Alzheimer’s disease research and Alzheimer’s caregivers programs included in the Fiscal Year 2016 budget that Congress passed last week.

December 21, 2015 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, announced her support of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill’s inclusion of robust funding for Alzheimer’s disease research, programs for Alzheimer’s caregivers and the Minority AIDS Initiative.  This bill funds these initiatives for Fiscal Year 2016.