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Senator Collins Delivers Remarks at Event Focused on Caring for Individuals with Alzheimer’s

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Washington, D.C. – At the 2018 Dementia Care Recommendations Hill Launch this morning, U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's, delivered remarks on efforts in Congress she is spearheading to ensure those living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias receive high-quality care. 


“Of the top ten leading causes of death in the United States, Alzheimer’s disease stands alone as the only one that cannot be prevented or treated effectively,” said Senator Collins.  “The effort to combat Alzheimer’s requires a unified effort not only to find a cure for this disease, but also to provide care and support for families and communities.  By working together, we have advanced public policies that will rewrite the future of this disease.”


Today’s event was hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association and its advocacy arm, the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM).  AIM advances and develops policies to overcome Alzheimer's disease through increased investment in research, enhanced care, and improved support.  Members of the Alzheimer’s Association presented their latest guidelines for caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, with a focus on person-centered care.  The Alzheimer’s Association’s recommendations emphasize dementia care in areas such as detection and diagnosis, education and support, and medical management.


As a Senator representing the state with the nation’s oldest median age and as Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, Senator Collins has worked to increase funding for Alzheimer’s research and improve support for family caregivers. 


In 2010, Senator Collins authored the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA), with then-Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN).  NAPA, which was signed into law in 2011, convened a panel of experts, who determined that $2 billion per year in research funding is needed to achieve our goal of preventing and treating Alzheimer’s by the year 2025. The proposed Senate funding bill for FY18 provides $1.8 billion—an increase of $414 million—for Alzheimer’s research, which would bring us within reach of our $2 billion goal.  In November, Senator Collins led a bipartisan group of senators in introducing the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, legislation that would create a public health infrastructure to combat Alzheimer’s disease and preserve brain health.


In addition, last month, the president signed into law the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act, bipartisan legislation authored by Senators Collins and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) that establishes a national strategy to support family caregivers across the country.  There are more than 43 million family caregivers in the United States, and one-third of them provide care for someone living with Alzheimer’s.