Letters to the Editor

Midlo letter: Alzheimer’s disease

In Idaho, 23,000 people have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and there are over 79,000 unpaid family caregivers providing care to these individuals.

Alzheimer’s disease is a health crisis. At a cost of $236 billion a year, Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the nation. Sadly, it is the only leading cause of death that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.

As an Alzheimer’s Association Advocate, I recently had the opportunity to meet with Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, to discuss the staggering impact of Alzheimer’s disease.

Over coffee on Oct. 27th, several people from Boise shared their personal experiences with the disease. MacKenzie Rodgers, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association, shared information about programs in Idaho and the Health Outcomes, Planning and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer’s Act (S.857/H.R. 1559).

Historic increases have been made to fund Alzheimer’s research recently, but more must be done. I am thankful to Rep. Simpson for supporting increased federal funding for Alzheimer’s research, and legislation that improves access to care and support services.

I appreciate Simpson’s willingness to learn more about the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act, and hope that he will commit to joining Sen. Mike Crapo in co-sponsoring the bill.

Karen Midlo, Boise

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