The Alzheimer’s Association estimates there are more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, including over 89,000 here in Alabama. I am among the 302,000 people who are counted as a caregiver. I speak not only as an advocate, but also as a family member who has cared for two generations of loved ones. I have great news to share.

Due to substantial bipartisan support of the Health Outcomes, Planning and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer’s Act, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will, beginning in early 2017, pay for cognitive and functional assessment and care planning following a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other dementia. This much-needed service is crucial to maintain quality of life for the diagnosed and their caregivers and enable appropriate planning for the future.

Thank you to U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne for attending our recent Coffee With Congress to hear from local care providers who are also concerned with the needs of people living with Alzheimer’s disease. We rely on such great support to assist us with meeting our mission to end Alzheimer’s once and for all. It is only through adequate funding and a strong implementation of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease that we will meet its goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025.

Beth Reinert
Ambassador for AL/FL Panhandle Alzheimer’s Association