Congress took decisive action passing the Building Our Largest Dementia Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act (S. 2076).
Endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Association, the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act will create an Alzheimer’s public health infrastructure across the country to implement effective Alzheimer’s interventions including increasing early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk and preventing avoidable hospitalizations.
The BOLD Act was introduced in November of 2017 and quickly gained bipartisan support as Alzheimer’s advocates across the country shared their stories with legislators. I am one of those advocates. Much of my family has been directly impacted by this disease — my grandfather, my mother and my elder sister. It is devastating — not only for the patient, but for the loved ones, caregivers, and others directly associated.
Alzheimer’s not only takes a huge human toll, but also a serious financial toll on our country. It is the most expensive disease in the U.S., estimated to cost $277 billion in 2018 alone. Roughly 5.7 million Americans have been diagnosed, with approximately 140,000 in Georgia.
But the BOLD legislation can make a difference by utilizing the existing public health infrastructure to increase awareness of the disease, creating centers for excellence around the country and collecting data will improve early and accurate diagnosis. This step will lead to reduced costs of care and improved quality of life for those diagnosed with the disease.
I urged Rep. Doug Collins to support the effort to address Alzheimer’s and other dementias as a public health issue. The BOLD Act passed the Senate on Dec. 12 and was passed/agreed on in the House Dec. 19. It is expected to be signed into law in the next few days.
Join me in thanking Congress, especially Collins, for supporting this legislation and taking BOLD action to address Alzheimer’s and other dementias in our country.
Finally, visit alz.org to find out more and get involved with the fight against Alzheimer’s.
Robert Polak, ambassador, Alzheimer’s Association