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Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Act support asked

Alzheimer’s disease is devastating for those suffering with it, as well as their caregivers. More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, 29,000 of them here in Hawaii, with 65,000 unpaid family caregivers. While we think of this as impacting older people, 200,000 Americans are affected by a younger onset of the disease.

My father suffered from dementia for 10-15 years, cared for at home by his wife. It is in his memory that I advocate for policies supporting patients and caregivers of Alzheimer’s. His life would have been made more difficult had he been younger with Alzheimer’s disease.

He would have been ineligible for certain nutritional programs, in-home services, transportation, legal services and caregiver support because under the Older Americans Act, only people with Alzheimer’s disease who are at least 60 years are provided those services.

The Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Act would allow patients under age 60 who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia to access services under the Older Americans Act.

That’s why I’m asking Sen. Mazie Hirono to please co-sponsor the Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Act (S.901) and to vote for the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act.

Nancy Rose

Pukalani