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Congresswoman Waters Congratulates Alzheimer’s Association for Report on Women & Alzheimer’s Disease

October 15, 2010
Press Release

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), a leading proponent of legislation to help families affected by Alzheimer's disease, congratulated the Alzheimer's Association for completing a new report on the effects of Alzheimer's disease on women.

"I congratulate the Alzheimer's Association for producing a groundbreaking new report on women and Alzheimer's disease," said Congresswoman Waters.  "This report shows that Alzheimer's is taking a tremendous toll not only on women who suffer from the disease but also on women who provide care to suffering family members."

According to the report released yesterday, 65% of persons with Alzheimer's disease are women, and 60% of caregivers for persons with Alzheimer's disease are women.  A third of women caregivers report that they spend all day, every day caring for their loved one, and nearly 40% said they had no choice in becoming a caregiver.  Almost two-thirds of all caregivers who work report having to go to work late, leave early or take time off to provide care.  However, they also report receiving less support for elder care than for child care.  Almost half of all women caregivers report high levels of physical and emotional stress.

"We learn from this report that ten million women are directly affected by this devastating disease: 3.3 million women who suffer from Alzheimer's disease and 6.7 million women who are providing care to a friend or loved one," said Congresswoman Waters.  "I am working in Congress to support all of the patients, caregivers and families who have to live with this disease every day."

Congresswoman Waters introduced H.R. 908, a bill to expand the Missing Alzheimer's Disease Patient Alert Program, a Department of Justice program that helps local communities and law enforcement officials quickly identify persons with Alzheimer's disease who wander away from home or are missing and reunite them with their families. The House of Representatives passed the bill last year, and the Senate Judiciary Committee passed it in June.  It is now awaiting consideration by the full Senate.

Congresswoman Waters also introduced H.R. 4123, the Alzheimer's Treatment and Caregiver Support Act.  This bill would authorize grants to improve treatment for Alzheimer's patients and expand training and support services for their families and caregivers.  This bill has 79 bipartisan cosponsors and is supported by nearly 100 national, state and local organizations.

To read more about Congresswoman Waters' work on Alzheimer's disease, click here.