Congress recently sent a bill to President Obama’s desk that would significantly impact the future well-being of our nation’s aging population.
The National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA), a bipartisan bill, aims to combat Alzheimer’s disease with the same determination with which we have worked to prevent and treat AIDS and cancer.
The intention of the new legislation is to comprehensively address the government’s efforts on Alzheimer’s research, care, institutional services, and home- and community-based programs. An inter-agency Advisory Council will develop a coordinated National Alzheimer’s Disease Plan. The National Institute for Aging will take a leading role.
5 main goals of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act
According to the National Institute for Aging, the main goals of the Act are:
- Prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025.
- Optimize care quality and efficiency.
- Expand supports for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. This would include decreasing health disparities by ensuring ethnic and racial populations at higher risk for Alzheimer’s receive much-needed care and services.
- Enhance public awareness and engagement.
- Track progress and drive improvement.
Combating Alzheimer’s is unique in that there are NO survivors. It is up to advocacy organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Association, to organize caregivers, eldercare professionals, and those with Alzheimer’s that can tell their story, to provide valuable information and feedback to this new federal office. It is also important for families and individuals with dementia to participate in ongoing research.
Follow this blog and Alzheimer’s-related websites such as the Alzheimer’s Association to learn of opportunities to contribute to this cause.