White House Conference on Aging held during rapidly growing momentum in fight to end Alzheimer’s
Following historic leadership by Congress last month to accelerate the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and leading into the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® (AAIC®) in Washington, D.C., next week, the once-a-decade White House Conference on Aging discussed important issues related to the impact of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia. These topics included caregiving, healthy aging, elder abuse, retirement security and long-term services and supports.
The White House held the release of the 2015 update to the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, normally released in late spring, until yesterday. The initial plan, issued in 2012, and subsequent annual updates are mandated by the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) passed unanimously by Congress in December 2010. The 2015 update to the plan was not discussed during the conference.
“Despite all of the challenges, we are making real progress in the fight against Alzheimer’s. With as many as 500,000 people dying annually as a result of Alzheimer's, the progress we need, at the pace we need it, will require leadership of the kind demonstrated by the Congress again last month, along with strong implementation of the national Alzheimer’s plan updated today and meaningful action on the topics that were discussed at the Conference,” said Harry Johns, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association, who attended the Conference on Aging at the White House. “Certainly, as we work for better treatments, we must work every bit as hard to care for those who have the disease and their caregivers. Providing them with the best available resources and support to cope with this devastating disease is critical.”
David Hyde Pierce, actor, director, former caregiver and Alzheimer's Association honorary board member, moderated a panel on caregiving at the conference. According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, in addition to the more than five million people who are estimated to have Alzheimer's today, there are more than 15 million unpaid caregivers for them and for those with other dementia. Those caregivers provided 17.9 billion hours of care that is valued – but not compensated – at $218 billion.
“Next week at AAIC, more than 4,000 attendees, most of them leading scientists from around the world will share updates in the race toward breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s diagnosis, treatment and prevention,” said Johns. “We’ll see and hear updates that address pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions, as well as new information about effects on caregivers.”
For more information on Alzheimer’s disease and available resources, visit alz.org or call the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7, toll-free helpline at 1.800.272.3900.
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit alz.org.