To The Editor:
Congratulations to Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) on being re-elected to the U.S. House of Representatives! Rep. Zeldin has been a strong advocate for Long Island; I urge him to continue working to ensure that Long Islanders receive the support they need, especially those with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.
Alzheimer’s disease has become a public health crisis for our country, costing $277 billion this year alone in healthcare costs. Two-thirds of this cost is being borne by Medicare and Medicaid and much of the remainder is being paid out-of-pocket by individuals and families. Our nation’s economy and healthcare infrastructure are being severely strained by this burden, which is set to increase significantly in the next few years.
My grandmother passed away in 2014 following her battle with the disease. As a young adult, it was incredibly difficult to witness the person I knew and loved slip away and even harder to witness the immense stress it placed on my parents and my uncle, as her caregivers. This experience led me to my career as an elder law attorney.
A national public health crisis calls for a coordinated public health response. While researchers seek a cure, we must address the challenges of individuals and families who are currently struggling with Alzheimer’s. I commend Rep. Zeldin for co-sponsoring the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act (HR 4256), which will establish Alzheimer’s Centers of Excellence to promote early detection and diagnosis and create clearinghouses for effective interventions. Only by proactively addressing the challenges of this devastating disease can we hope to reduce the burden on our country.
Christina M. Noon
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