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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: May 22, 2017 10:51 AM
From: Representative Katharine M. Watson and Rep. William C. Kortz, II
To: All House members
Subject: Alzheimer's Disease and brain Awareness Month - June 2017
In the near future, we plan to introduce a resolution to designate June 2017 “Alzheimer’s Disease and Brain Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.

Alzheimer's Disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause of death among the top 10 that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. From 2000-2014, the number of Alzheimer’s deaths increased 89 percent, while deaths from other major diseases decreased.

More than 5 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease, including an estimated 400,000 in Pennsylvania, and 15.9 million family and friends who assisted their loved ones. In 2015, Pennsylvania had an estimated 673,000 Alzheimer’s & Dementia family caregivers providing 755 million hours of unpaid care valued at $9.7 billion. Only about half of those living with the disease have been diagnosed. Additionally, less than half (45 percent) of seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or their caregivers are aware of the diagnosis. Diagnosis is often delayed due to low public awareness of the early signs of Alzheimer’s and general misperceptions about Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Alzheimer's is the most expensive disease in the country. Alzheimer's Disease remains one of the most critical public health issues in America, costing taxpayers $20 million each hour. The total national cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are estimated at $259 billion a year, of which $175 billion is the cost to Medicare and Medicaid alone. As the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s grows, the total annual payments for health care, long-term care and hospice care for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are projected to increase to more than $1 trillion in 2050.

We urge our colleagues to share the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline in their district offices. The helpline number is 1-800-272-3900. The Association provides assistance to more than 310,000 callers each year, offering translation services in more than 200 languages.

Please join us in creating more awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease and Brain Awareness by cosponsoring this resolution. If would like to be a member of the House Alzheimer’s Caucus, please contact the office.

Introduced as HR417