To the editor:
June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in Maine and nearly one out of three seniors who die each year has Alzheimer’s or another dementia. At this point in time there is no cure or effective treatment and is the most costly compared to the other leading causes of death in the United States.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting with Samantha Warren, the district director at Congressman Bruce Poliquin’s Bangor office to urge Congressman Poliquin in supporting the major increases in Alzheimer’s research funding at the National Institutes of Health.
Maine has the oldest median age population in the country and one of the highest percentages of veterans in the country. Senator Susan Collins recently described the future cost of care for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia as an “oncoming tsunami” to Medicare and the Veterans Administration.
Alzheimer’s is not only an “old person’s disease” as approximately 200,000 people under age 65 are living with younger onset Alzheimer’s. Early detection and warning signs help to ensure treatment and quality of life for the victims and their families.
Hopefully the Maine Congressional Delegation can work together and lead the nation in a positive example of bipartisanship against Alzheimer’s and dementia. I strongly urge you to help raise Alzheimer’s awareness by contacting our Representatives and Senators and asking them to support Alzheimer’s funding.