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Good, Bucy, Elson & Drescher, attorneys at law

Funding for Alzheimer’s!

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, over 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s. Over 15 million Americans are acting as their unpaid caregivers, representing over 17 billion hours of care per year. It is projected that by 2050, over 13 million Americans will live with Alzheimer’s. That’s a lot of people touched by Alzheimer’s!

Medicare spends nearly $1 in $5 on Alzheimer’s. The average Medicare payments to someone without Alzheimer’s is $8,000 per year; the average Medicare payments to someone with Alzheimer’s is $21,500 per year. A recent report projects that Medicare spending on people with Alzheimer’s disease will more than quadruple over the next generation, costing the government $589 billion (yes, billion with a “b”!) annually by 2050.

Medicaid payments are even more skewed: $570 per year to someone without Alzheimer’s, contrasted with $11,000 per year to someone with Alzheimer’s – over 19 times more!

Of the top 10 causes of death in this country, Alzheimer’s disease is the only one that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed down. The data shows that if onset of Alzheimer’s could be delayed by just five years, Medicare would save $345 billion in the first 10 years alone. That’s a significant savings, and brings home the importance of finding a cure!

The National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) was passed unanimously by Congress in 2010 and sets out five goals:

  1. Prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s by 2025
  2. Enhance Alzheimer’s care quality and efficiency
  3. Expand the support available to both patients and caregivers
  4. Enhance public awareness and engagement about Alzheimer’s
  5. Improve data to better track research progress

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law an historic $350 million increase in federal funds for Alzheimer’s research in the 2016 fiscal year budget. This represents a nearly 60% increase over the 2015 fiscal year budget and marks the largest increase ever for federal Alzheimer’s research funding, and should help see all five NAPA goals met. I applaud the bipartisan effort that made this happen!

If you are caring for someone touched by Alzheimer’s, or any other dementia, know that you are not alone. As someone who was the sole caregiver for a close family member for over 2 years, I understand the sense of overwhelm and helplessness that can accompany providing care for someone so ill. I can help you navigate this journey, providing assistance and resources to ease everyone’s stress. Please feel free to contact me to set up a complimentary consultation so that we can discuss how I may be of service.

Cheri Elson
Gray Matters Consulting

To read the full article:
Historic Alzheimer’s Funding Increase

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Good, Bucy & Elson, Attorneys at Law

Robert W. Good, Attorney at Law
Scott C. Bucy, Attorney at Law
Jo Hanna Dorris, Paralegal