In Texas, about 380,000 people age 65 and older have Alzheimer’s disease. At the national level, that number is in the millions. But a bill new is making its way through Congress to fund additional research and resources.
What’s being called the Bold Act, would authorize $37 million annually to establish Alzheimer’s public health infrastructure across the country and to improve data collection on the incurable brain disease. Local advocates are hopeful this will be an important step toward finding a cure.
More than five million people in the U.S. Are living with Alzheimer’s disease. With numbers growing at an alarming rate, lawmakers are focusing on federal resources to improve detection, treatment, and more. Patty Taylor with the Wichita Falls Alzheimer’s Association knows first hand what it’s like to lobby for this issue at our nation’s capital.
“We gather once a year in Washington D.C. to do our little bit of lobbying as caregivers. So, caregivers from across the country come together to meet and do a big pep rally in some ways but get information and then we have assignments where we try and go hit every office,” Taylor said.
Their work has not gone unnoticed.
“About 5 years ago the N.I.H. said that to adequately address the Alzheimer’s issue they needed $2 billion in research, at that time the Alzheimer’s research was only getting about $325 million and currently we are at $1.4 billion,” Taylor said.
New research is being done to help treat Alzheimer’s patients, and that research is based right here in Texoma.
“Having resources available you know to help find a cure it would be so much to everybody cause Alzheimer’s is such a devastating disease. Not only for the person suffering but to the caregivers and family,” President of Grayline Research Center Tonya Crosson said.
Caregivers provide an estimated 18.4 billion hours of care and what they do is often overlooked.
“Every day is the longest day for caregivers it’s a never-ending day. They wake up like they don’t know the day will bring if they are loved one will be in a good disposition or if they’re having a bad day. They don’t know how much the other loved one will have lost physically to be able to do and it takes a big emotional toll,” Taylor said.
The advocacy efforts have made a difference and people like Taylor hope that continues.
You can help those affected by Alzheimer’s disease tomorrow. The event is called The Longest Day and held each year on the summer solstice. Wichita Falls Alzheimer’s Association will spend The Longest Day making Christmas cards for local care community residents, to be delivered in December.
The association is located on First Texas Building so, go by there between 9 am to 5 pm. They are asking for $10 donations.