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
Congresswoman Maxine Waters believes her job is to fight for the care and support of seniors, especially on the issues of Alzheimer's disease, elder abuse, housing and quality healthcare, she said at the inaugural Advocates for African American Elders public event held in February, congratulating the similarly focused advocacy group on its outreach to the African-American community to ensure a decent quality of life for all seniors.
Today, on Capitol Hill, the House Judiciary Committee passed H.R. 2800, a bill introduced by Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) to reauthorize the Missing Alzheimer's Disease Patient Alert Program. H.R. 2800 passed the Committee without opposition on a voice vote and now awaits consideration on the House floor.
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.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), a leading proponent of legislation to support the treatment and care of patients with Alzheimer's disease, congratulated the California Southland Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association for organizing the Walk to End Alzheimer's. The Walk will be held Sunday, October 9th, at Century City Park in Los Angeles, California. The Congresswoman issued the following statement:
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), a leading proponent of legislation to increase research and funding to combat Alzheimer's disease and help those affected by the disease, issued the following statement in recognition of World Alzheimer's Day:
I am proud to join the millions of families worldwide who are affected by Alzheimer's disease to recognize today as World Alzheimer's Day. Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and it affects over five million Americans.
Last Friday, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) reintroduced two bills to address the needs of patients with Alzheimer's disease, their families and caregivers, the Alzheimer's Caregiver Support Act (H.R. 2798) and the Missing Alzheimer's Disease Patient Alert Program Reauthorization (H.R. 2800). Each bill is supported by the Alzheimer's Association and the Alzheimer's Foundation of America and has 14 original cosponsors, including Reps. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), the bipartisan Co-Chairs of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's disease.
Today, on Capitol Hill, Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-35) sent a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee requesting a $2 million appropriation for the Missing Alzheimer's Disease Patient Alert Program in fiscal year 2012. A total of 27 Members of Congress signed the letter. The text of the letter follows:
More than 3,000 residents from across Los Angeles County came together for the 18th annual Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk® to raise awareness and funds to fight Alzheimer's disease.
Families and friends walked side by side with teams from community groups, businesses, schools, assisted living facilities and professional groups, raising more than $680,000 for Alzheimer's disease care and research.