There are more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s. My grandmother was one of those Americans living with Alzheimer’s. More than 16 million Americans provide unpaid care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. My mother was one of those Americans providing unpaid care for her mother. For individuals living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, care planning is essential to learning about medical and non-medical treatments, clinical trials and support services available in their community. Accessing these services results in a higher quality of life.

As someone who cares for loved ones living with/caring for someone with dementia, I understand the enormous burden dementia has on Virginia families and the economy. Thankfully as of January 2017, Medicare covers critical care planning services. However, not enough patients and providers are aware of this resource. That’s why I’m asking Congressman Morgan Griffith to cosponsor the Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act (S. 880/H.R. 1873). The Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act would help educate clinicians on Alzheimer’s and dementia care planning services through Medicare. Endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Association and its advocacy arm, the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement, the Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act will give them the knowledge and tools to better help their patients and families living with dementia.

Please join me in asking Congressman Griffith to support the Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act. To learn more about this disease and how you can join the fight to end Alzheimer’s, visit alzimpact.org.

HEATHER GEARHART

ELLISTON

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