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The Department of Health and Human Services Will Determine Additional Support for Alzheimer’s Patients and Caregivers

Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2016 6:40 PM

Recently, the following U.S. Senators introduced legislation to support Alzheimer’s patients, caregivers and reducing the costs of treating Alzheimer’s or dementia:
• U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV.)
• Debbie Stabenow (D-MI.)
• U.S. Representatives Peter Roskam (R-IL)
• Linda Sánchez (D-CA)

More than 15 million Americans are the sole caregiver for their loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Additionally, these caregivers spend 18 billion hours of unpaid care annually. The Alzheimer’s Beneficiary and Caregiver Support Act directed the Department of Health and Human Services to determine if increased caregiver support would benefit Alzheimer’s disease patients by staying in their home setting for a longer period of time, rather than paying for institutional care.

“Having recently shared in the caregiving of parents with Alzheimer’s, I understand the difficulties that caregivers face and the significant costs involved,” said Senator Capito. “As of 2015, there were 108,000 Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers who provided 123 million total hours of unpaid care across West Virginia – that unpaid care is valued at more than $1.5 billion. With 37,000 West Virginians currently living with Alzheimer’s, and the Medicaid costs for treating Alzheimer’s in West Virginia totaling $368 million, we must pursue solutions like the Alzheimer’s Beneficiary and Caregiver Support Act to help ease the burden on patients, caregivers and federal health programs.”

“Alzheimer's is a heartbreaking disease that affects the entire family,” said Senator Stabenow. “For the half million caregivers and 185,000 Alzheimer's patients in Michigan, we are working to make sure that more people affected by Alzheimer's can stay in their homes and with their families longer. Today's bill is an important step towards reducing the burden of care and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate and the House to move this forward.”

“Nearly 5% of all Americans provide home care to a parent or relative‎ with Alzheimer's or dementia. They do so out of love, compassion, and kindness – and God bless them for their sacrifices. We, as lawmakers, must do more to support the physical, emotional, and financial challenges of home care-giving. I'm proud to introduce the Alzheimer's Beneficiary and Caregiver Support Act as a first step to meet that responsibility,” said Congressman Roskam.

“I am proud to introduce the Alzheimer’s Beneficiary and Caregiver Support Act which will provide support services for caregivers of people living with Alzheimer’s and related dementia. As someone whose parents suffer from this devastating illness, I am acutely aware of the pain and hardship that Alzheimer’s disease inflicts on families all across this country. Studies have shown that providing support to caregivers improves their capability to take care for their loved ones and keeps more Alzheimer’s patients in their own home. This bill addresses a critical need in our health care system and will finally provide help to those who care for our loved ones,” said Congresswoman Sánchez.

To view a one-pager on the bill, click here.

To view the bill text, click here.

For the full article, click here.

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