NEW YORK (April 7, 2016) —The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA), a nonprofit organization that unites more than 2,400 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals living with dementia, and to their caregivers and families, issued the following statement at yesterday’s Senate Special Committee on Aging’s hearing on Alzheimer’s disease. Earlier this year, AFA called for an additional $1 billion to be appropriated for Alzheimer’s research in the federal budget for fiscal year 2017 (FY’17). The Foundation also requested $40 million in enhanced investments for caregiver supports and services in FY’17. Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., AFA's president and chief executive officer:
“I want to express my gratitude to the Senate Special Committee on Aging and to Chairwoman Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Ranking Member McCaskill (D-Mo.) for holding this hearing, ‘Finding a Cure: Assessing Progress Toward the Goal of Ending Alzheimer’s by 2025,’ and shining a spotlight on the devastating impact of this brain disorder on American families.
“AFA is also grateful for the progress made in funding clinical research with a historic increase of $350 million in Alzheimer’s disease research funding for the National Institutes of Health contained in last year’s budget.
“Yet, we need to build further upon this success. The National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease sets a goal of finding a cure or disease-modifying treatment by 2025. Leading research scientists have said that at least $2 billion a year in research funding is needed if we are to achieve the 2025 mandate. For this reason, AFA is calling for an additional $1 billion dollars in spending on Alzheimer’s disease research at NIH in the FY’17 budget to ensure sufficient resources are appropriated if we are going to achieve the lofty, but achievable goal.”
In addition, AFA is requesting a $40 million increase for caregiver supports and services provided by the Administration for Community Living (ACL). ACL programs fund Alzheimer’s disease demonstration grants, case management, respite care and caregiver training and support under the Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative. Such services are crucial in helping caregivers cope with daily challenges of the disease and helps individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease have better health outcomes and can delay the need for costly nursing home placement—two things that save precious government resources. AFA also requested $5 million go to the Department of Justice in FY’17 to fund the Missing Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Alert Program.
“As the face of care for individuals and their families who are affected by Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses, AFA looks forward to working with the Special Committee on Aging and our friends in the Senate in making the fight eradicating this devastating disease a national priority.”
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a non-profit founded to fill the gap that existed on a national level assuring quality of care and excellence in service to individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses, and to their caregivers and families. AFA unites more than 2,400 member organizations from coast-to-coast that are dedicated to meeting the educational, social, emotional and practical needs of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and their families. Under AFA's umbrella, these organizations collaborate on education, resources, best practices and advocacy —all resulting in better care for people affected by the disease. AFA’s services include a national, toll-free helpline staffed by licensed social workers, educational materials, professional training, community outreach, free quarterly caregiver magazine, research funding, public advocacy and programmatic services. For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-232-8484, visit www.alzfdn.org, follow us on Twitter, or connect with us on Facebook.