On December 31st, 2018, President Trump signed the Building Our Largest Dementia Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act — or the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act — into law. In a rare act of bipartisanship, the bill had passed through both The U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate in the previous weeks, after having been introduced by Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME., in November of 2017.
A Bold Agenda
According to the Alzheimer’s Impact movement, the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act seeks to treat the disease as an emerging public health issues by taking the following steps:
“Establish Alzheimer’s Centers of Excellence:
- The Centers will increase education of public health officials, health care professionals, and the public on Alzheimer’s, brain health, and health disparities.
- The Centers will also provide technical assistance to public health departments across the country in implementing effective Alzheimer’s interventions.
- These interventions will focus on priorities such as increasing early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk, preventing avoidable hospitalizations, reducing health disparities, supporting the needs of caregivers and supporting care planning for people living with the disease.
- Finally, the Centers will expand innovative public private partnerships that focus on addressing cognitive impairment and health disparities.
Award Cooperative Agreements to Public Health Departments:
- This funding will help public health departments implement effective Alzheimer’s interventions, including those identified by the Alzheimer’s Centers of Excellence.
- This funding will also help public health departments implement strategic actions identified in the Healthy Brain Initiative’s Public Health Road Map.
Increase Data Collection, Analysis, and Timely Reporting:
- Cooperative agreements to public or nonprofit private entities will increase the analysis and timely public reporting of data on Alzheimer’s, caregiving, and health disparities.
- This data will be collected using tools like the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).
- This funding will also help monitor the progress of the Alzheimer’s and caregiving objectives in the Healthy People 2020 report”
Alzheimer’s as a Growing Public Health Threat
In lieu of any real progress in curing or even treating the disease, The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act seeks to promote preventative and mitigation measures to reduce the number of people who develop Alzheimer’s disease and provide better care for those who do.
That this bill passed with such widespread support — despite our current age of political infighting — shows that politicians from both sides of the aisle recognize the emerging public health threat that is Alzheimer’s disease.
A recent study found that between 1990 and 2016, worldwide dementia levels doubled. Currently in the United States, more than 5 million people live with Alzheimer’s disease, which is a specific form of dementia. Experts predict that number will nearly triple to 13.8 million by 2050. We’re watching this crisis unfold in real time.
Each Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis represents more than just lost lives. They also come with staggering societal costs. In 2017 alone, Alzheimer’s cost the United States $259 billion. By 2050, costs associated with dementia could top one trillion dollars.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the only way to combat this developing epidemic is with the full weight of the United States government. Hopefully this act is only the beginning of those efforts.
About Generations Home Care
Generations Home Care can help provide the quality in-home care seniors need to live fuller, healthier, independent lives. We offer levels of care ranging from companionship, to respite for the primary family caregiver, to homemaking services, to assistance with activities of daily living. We take a holistic approach and emphasize a consistent, client-centered plan of care.
Our Specialty Services Include:
- Rehab or hospital-to-home programs for safe discharge.
- Short-term post-operative care during recovery periods.
- Non-medical life management services for people with chronic conditions.
- Veteran’s connection to care program.
- Live-in services and couples care.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 602-595-HOME (4663) or by filling out the contact form on our website.