U.S. must do more to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s
Just over a year ago, my father died from Alzheimer’s disease. For more than a decade leading up to his death, my family and I watched a proud man, wonderful father and grandfather deteriorate into a state that can only be described as cruel and unforgiving. This disease took the man who spent hours visiting the children and families at Golisano Children’s Hospital as Sir Holly the clown to someone needing 24-hour care in a nursing home for over six years and, before that, three years in an assisted living facility.
The horrors inflicted by Alzheimer’s cannot be understated. Eleven years ago, I also saw Alzheimer’s take my mother-in-law much too early and much too quickly. Having witnessed the disease firsthand twice in recent years, I can truly say this nation must come to grips with it and take action now.
Today, over 5 million Americans are living with the disease, and by 2050, if it’s not stopped, it could be as many as 16 million.
An NIH-funded study found that Alzheimer’s is now the most expensive disease in America, costing more than cancer and heart disease. In 2013, caring for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost our country an estimated $203 billion. Over the next 40 years, it will cost a cumulative $20 trillion! Last year, 15.5 million family and friends provided over 17 billion hours of unpaid care to loved ones.
America has a strong history of investing in the fight against heart disease, HIV/AIDS and cancer. These investments have paid off as the death rates have been reduced or leveled off.
It’s now time for Washington to make a New Year’s resolution to increase the badly needed funding for Alzheimer’s disease research and community-based programs and services. The investment will help to combat the Alzheimer’s public health crisis and will make a significant difference in so many people’s quality of life.
As a caregiver for my father and mother-in-law, I can assure you the increased funding is long overdue and is badly needed by the Alzheimer’s community. It’s either pay now or pay later. Paying later will bankrupt this country; we must step up now with what experts need to make Alzheimer’s a memory by 2025!
U.S. shouldn’t give away store with ‘fast track’
Large corporations are pressuring Congress to give away its constitutional authority over trade. They want Congress to agree to “fast track” authority.
Fast track would allow a massive trade agreement with 11 Asian and Latin American countries to be signed before Congress gets to vote on it. Under fast track, this “Trans-Pacific Partnership” (TPP) trade agreement could then be railroaded through Congress quickly, with no amendments allowed and limited debate.
The TPP is a deal that supersedes U.S. authority with international corporate tribunals, and from the little information the public has been able to access (through Wikileaks!) it seems that this is its main purpose — reviving legislation such as SOPA (the Internet surveillance bill) which can’t be passed within the country, and applying it to us internationally.
We need to stand up for our own interests against the corporate forces that are engulfing the world. We need to return the balance of power in our government, to reinstate Congress’ oversight on trade deals and revoke fast-track.
Visit MoveOn.org and search TPP to find resources on this issue, or contact your neighbors, community organizations and representatives as you are inclined.
Obama detractors would blame him for anything
I read the Jan. 2 letter to the editor by Vito Spinelli, where he is outraged that President Obama allows wind farms to exist while sometimes birds fly into their propellers and are killed.
I wonder if he shares the same outrage at the president when there is an oil spill that kills a lot of wildlife, or when a bird flies into the engine of a plane.
Is this President Obama’s fault, too?
Keep flexibility when calling a ‘Code Blue’
The Saratoga Springs’ Code Blue criteria to be eligible for shelter is 10 degrees above zero and/or 12 inches of snow [Dec. 25 Gazette].
Let’s get realistic (“stay away, you miserable lout, temp is only down to 11 degrees and the snow is only 11 inches high).”
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