Bipartisan Bill Would Ensure People Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Before Age 60 Have Access to Support Services
Lackawanna County Resident Testifies About Alzheimer’s Association’s Work in the Commonwealth
Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, discussed the importance of ensuring underserved and underrepresented populations living with Alzheimer’s disease are adequately represented in clinical trials and have access to support services in their communities. In Pennsylvania, there are more than 280,000 people, ages 65 and over, living with Alzheimer’s disease.
During the hearing, Sen. Casey also urged his colleagues to pass the bipartisan Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Act (S. 901), which would ensure people who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease before age 60 can access programs and support services. This bill would help approximately 200,000 people under the age of 60 living with Alzheimer’s disease.
“Alzheimer’s disease impacts different communities differently, so research and clinical trials must include people who are diagnosed at younger ages, people with disabilities, racial and ethnic minorities and people living in rural areas,” said Senator Casey. “We must tackle this disease from every angle—including continuing research for a cure and ensuring medical professionals and community organizations can provide the best care possible to every single population.”
Clay Jacobs, the Executive Director of the Greater Pennsylvania Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, testified about the importance of strengthening support services and educational programs for people living with Alzheimer’s disease in underserved communities. “A constant theme of all of our outreach is the importance of care planning after diagnosis,” said Clay, a resident of North Abington Township, PA. “Care planning is essential to learning about medical and non-medical treatments, clinical trials and support services. These services result in fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits, and a higher quality of life.”