Collins, Klobuchar Introduce Legislation to Expand Training and Support Services for Families and Caregivers of Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias

More than five million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, and by 2050 that number is expected to grow to 14 million.

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) have introduced legislation to expand training and support services for families and caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act would authorize grants to public and non-profit organizations to expand training and support services that improve caregiver health and delay long-term care facility admissions by keeping loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in their homes longer.

 

“Millions of Americans devote enormous time and attention and make many personal and financial sacrifices to ensure that their loved ones have the high-quality care they need day in and day out. These individuals know all too well the compassion, commitment, and endurance that it takes to be a caregiver of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Senator Collins. “Our bipartisan legislation would help expand the availability of resources and training services to provide caregivers with the support they need.”

 

“Watching a loved one suffer from Alzheimer’s or related dementia is tragic—for the 16 million Americans who are also the primary caregivers for family members, life is even more challenging because they often lack the resources and support they need while providing nearly 18 billion hours of uncompensated care annually,” said Senator Klobuchar. “Our bipartisan bill will expand training and support services for caregivers to improve their well-being and health. It will also allow patients to stay in the comfort of their homes longer, improving their quality of life.”

 

“The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America thanks Senator Klobuchar and Senator Collins for working in a bipartisan manner to address the growing public health epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease.  Millions of Americans are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease right now; access to support services is essential for every one of them, especially in the absence of a cure,” said Alzheimer’s Foundation of America President and CEO Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. “The Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act is a win for everyone; it will provide greater support for families affected by Alzheimer’s disease while helping to lower overall care costs.  We look forward to working with federal policymakers to continue building on the progress they’ve made and take the next step forward in the fight against Alzheimer’s by passing this important legislation.”

 

“On behalf of the more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and their more than 16 million caregivers, the Alzheimer’s Association is proud to support the Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act. This legislation would expand and improve access to training and support services for families and caregivers of those living with the disease,” said Robert Egge, Alzheimer’s Association Chief Public Policy Officer. “Caring for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is both emotionally and financially straining. This important legislation would help to alleviate some of the financial burden, and importantly allow for family caregivers to receive the training and support necessary to provide quality care for their loved ones.” 

  

As the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease, Senator Collins recently helped secure a $425 million increase for Alzheimer’s research –  the largest increase in history.  In addition, the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act Senator Collins authored to create a public health infrastructure to combat Alzheimer’s disease was signed into law on December 31, 2018.