FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | April 10, 2013
Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Lauds President’s FY2014 Budget Commitment to Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Care
NEW YORK, NY — The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA), a leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to optimal care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families, issued this statement in response to President Obama’s release today of his FY2014 budget, which includes a $100 million increase for Alzheimer’s disease research and caregiver services.
Statement by Carol Steinberg, acting chief executive officer of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America:
“The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) commends President Obama’s continued commitment to tackling Alzheimer’s disease and carrying out the goals of the historic National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease.
The proposed $100 million increase in funding is yet another tangible action that demonstrates the Administration’s identification of this brain disorder as an overpowering public health crisis and the urgency to make headway sooner rather than later. It reflects a growing understanding that the status quo is unsustainable in the face of the skyrocketing incidence and cost of Alzheimer’s disease in the coming decades.
The additional $80 million investment in research combined with the President’s recently-announced BRAIN Initiative will help researchers unlock the mysteries of the brain while maintaining meaningful investments in promising research already in the drug development pipeline.
In addition, AFA is gratified that the President also recognizes the need to invest in caregiver services while we await more effective treatments and a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. The additional $20 million for caregiver services, including $9 million for Alzheimer’s disease demonstration grants, reflecting an increase of $5 million over FY2013 levels; and $11 million for services such as case management, respite care and caregiver training and support under the Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative (ADI), which were not funded in FY2013, are a meaningful injection toward coping with daily challenges of the disease.
We appreciate the Administration’s commitment especially during this time of fiscal restraint, and are hopeful that this will pave the way for greater funding in Alzheimer’s disease research and care in the future that is more in line with investments in other chronic disease states.
All Americans, whether directly facing Alzheimer’s disease or not, must pull together to make this happen before this disease deals more of crushing financial and emotional toll on families, government and society. In light of the President’s similar proposed increases for research and caregiver services in his FY2013 budget that never materialized, AFA looks forward to working with the Administration, Alzheimer’s disease stakeholders and champions in Congress to ensure that these investments become reality in FY2014 and move us closer to attaining the vital goals of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease.”
Currently, Alzheimer’s disease, which results in loss of memory and other intellectual functions, affects as many as 5.1 million Americans and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Advanced age is the greatest known risk factor. A new study shows that costs associated with dementia care ranges from $157 billion to $210 billion annually in the United States, surpassing direct care costs spent on heart disease or cancer care.
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, based in New York, is a national nonprofit organization that unites more than 1,600 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families. Its services include counseling and referrals by licensed social workers via a toll-free helpline, e-mail, Skype, and live chat; educational materials; a free quarterly magazine for caregivers; and professional training. For more information about AFA, call toll-free 866-232-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.
Contact: Amanda Hirschhorn