Dear Editor:

Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t strike just the elderly. The 200,000 Americans currently diagnosed with dementia before age 65 need services like in-home care, transportation, and caregiver support.

This past April, advocates like myself working with the Alzheimer’s Association asked members of Congress to co-sponsor the Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Act. This bipartisan proposal, H.R. 1903, would amend the Older Americans Act to serve these younger individuals and their families through our local community Area Agency on Aging.

I am very hopeful that Idaho’s Congressmen, Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson, will co-sponsor this needed legislation. Congressman Fulcher is, in fact, a new member of the committee that must approve this important new legislation.

As a social worker, that delivers much needed services to individuals with Alzheimer’s, I personally know the heavy burden and unimaginable hardship that individuals and families carry with this disease.

When enacted, the Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Act, will ensure every American, regardless of age, has the much needed care, support and resources they need.

I strongly believe all members of Congress should continue to actively support policies that address Alzheimer’s disease as the national public health crisis it is.

Cheryl Thompson

Coeur d' Alene

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