Congresswomen Schakowsky, Matsui Statement on International Alzheimer’s Association Conference

Co-Chairs of the Democratic Caucus Task Force on Seniorsapplaud effort of conference to improve research, treatment and support of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

WASHINGTON, DC–-(ENEWSPF)–July 21, 2015.  Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) and Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06) are today commending the work of the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2015, which is meeting in Washington, D.C this week. The conference brings together more than 3,000 researchers from around the world to discuss the current state of research and the potential for breakthroughs that can increase our understanding of the disease and develop improved methods of prevention, treatment, and ultimately, a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.  Congresswomen Doris O. Matsui and Jan Schakowsky, co-chairs of the House Democratic Caucus Seniors Task Force, released the following joint statement: 

“We are pleased that the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference is meeting in Washington this week and we want to thank the researchers from around the globe who are working every day on ways to address this terrible disease.

In the United States, 5.3 million Americans and their families are living with Alzheimer’s disease.  That number is expected to grow to over 7 million by 2025.  That is why the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference is so critical.  Today, Alzheimer’s disease cannot be prevented, and it cannot be cured.  Therefore, we must act now by making the investments in medical research needed to find solutions.

Along with medical research, it is also important that we recognize and strengthen initiatives that provide assistance to people living with Alzheimer’s and those who care for them.  This is the Senior Task Force’s Month of Action, which started on July 14th with the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act, continues through July 30th with the 50th anniversaries of Medicare and Medicaid, and ends on August 14th with the 80th anniversary of Social Security.  The Month of Action recognizes these landmark pieces of legislation, and seeks to strengthen these critical programs that provide assistance to all older Americans and their families, including those persons living with Alzheimer’s.

The Older Americans Act funds Alzheimer’s disease education, adult day services, caregiver training, senior nutritional services, and legal assistance. It also funds respite care, which helps family members cope with the physical and emotional tolls of caregiving for individuals with the disease.

Medicaid is the largest public payer for long term care services in the United States and, for many people with Alzheimer’s, it is the major source of financial assistance for services like nursing home care or home and community-based care.  

Medicare provides critical health services, including physician visits that can help with the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, provide counseling, and ensure access to needed prescription drugs.

Social Security not only provides Alzheimer’s patients with their earned retiree benefits, but also allows early onset Alzheimer’s patients with expedited access to Social Security Disability Insurance.  

We want to congratulate the Alzheimer’s Association on this conference and thank its leadership, staff and many volunteers for their tireless efforts.  We join you in the commitment to accelerate medical research and to provide assistance to Alzheimer’s patients and their families.”