This week the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Bill passed in the House with overwhelming bipartisan support. The Senate had already approved it so this legislation will soon be signed into law. It is a game changer as it addresses Alzheimer’s as a public health issue. This bill will have a direct impact on the lives of the over five million Americans and their families living with this disease.
The bill authorizes $100 million in funding over the next five years to fight the Alzheimer’s epidemic. Annually, $20 million will be spent on three main components:
- Establishing Alzheimer’s Centers of Excellence that will increase education and promote effective Alzheimer’s and caregiving interventions. The priorities of these interventions include early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk, preventing hospitalizations and supporting the needs of caregivers.
- Funding for public health departments to educate and implement effective interventions on the larger public health platform that will directly benefit and be evident at the state and local community levels.
- These initiatives will increase data collection, analysis and timely reporting of Alzheimer’s disease, caregiving and other health disparities.
We are celebrating the victory at Brookdale, not only for our industry and the residents and families we serve, but for the passion we’ve put in to getting this bill passed. We took action with the American Senior Housing Association (ASHA) and lobbied to officials on behalf of the people we serve. Our team also wrote letters to our representatives asking for support.
It’s been a banner year for Alzheimer’s legislation. In addition to the BOLD Act, Congress passed the RAISE Family Caregiver Act in January. It is inspiring to see the unity between advocates, including people living with dementia and the Alzheimer’s bipartisan champions in Congress. Together we are changing the trajectory of this disease. As it is often noted, Alzheimer’s isn’t a blue or red issue; it’s a purple issue. You can truly feel the synergy with that commitment as we charge Capitol Hill every year.