Letters to the Editor

Midlo letter: Alzheimer’s

At $236 billion a year, Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the nation. Nearly 1 in 5 Medicare dollars is spent on people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Costs continue to increase as baby boomers age, soaring to more than $1 trillion in 2050.

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the U.S. that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed. About 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s; barring the development of a medical breakthrough by 2050, the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease could reach 16 million people.

Alzheimer’s disease is a growing crisis for our families and the economy. The federal government must address the challenges the disease poses and take bold action to confront this epidemic now.

Over my 16-year career in long-term care, I have seen the devastating effect on individuals, families and our local economy as caregivers leave the workforce to care for loved ones and sell assets to pay for care.

Please contact Rep. Mike Simpson and ask him to continue the fight by increasing funding for Alzheimer’s research by at least $400 million in fiscal year 2017.

Karen Midlo, Boise