The thought of losing all of the beautiful memories you have created throughout your lifetime is inconceivably frightening. Every 69 seconds, another American develops Alzheimer’s disease. Every minute, a heart breaks. It is the only disease in America’s top 10 that has no cure or any way to slow its progression. That doesn’t, however, mean that there is nothing that we can do to help those affected.
The HOPE Act was proposed five months ago as an amendment to a portion of the Social Security Act. The Health Outcomes, Planning, and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer’s Act aims to ensure that Alzheimer’s patients get an actual formal diagnosis that is recorded on their medical record. It is estimated that more than half of people who suffer from Alzheimer’s are not even diagnosed.
The earlier someone can receive a formal diagnosis, the better. Researchers have recently discovered that early detection of the disease can be extremely beneficial. Huffington Post quoted Beth Kallmyer, Senior Director of Constituent Services at the Alzheimer’s Association: “People who are diagnosed early can participate in the planning of their future — they can talk to their families about advanced directives, how they want to have their finances handled, what they want to have happen when they can’t drive anymore.”
Early diagnosis also provides researchers with more patients who could potentially participate in clinical trials. Having a formal, early diagnosis opens doors to invaluable services that benefit patients and their families. It increases access to information, care and support for newly diagnosed patients and those who care for them.
Concerned citizens and those affected by this heartbreaking disease are fighting everyday to get this act passed in Congress. Supporters of the 5.4 million Americans affected by Alzheimer’s disease donate 17 billion hours of unpaid care to their loved ones. The economic total of that unpaid care would come out to a whopping $202.6 billion dollars.
Help join the fight for victims of Alzheimer’s and support the HOPE Act by signing this petition.
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