In the midst of Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness MonthSmith pushes legislation to bolster federal support for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers
In the midst of Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) this week called on Congress to advance legislation he recently sponsored to bolster federal support for research on Alzheimer’s disease in the ongoing search for improved treatments and a potential cure.
“During Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, we bring additional attention to the heartbreak, pain and agony of those suffering from Alzheimer’s and their loved ones and recognize the tireless advocacy of groups like the Alzheimer’s Association whose amazing work offers so much hope for combating it,” said Rep. Smith, who co-founded the Congressional Alzheimer’s Caucus more than two decades ago.
“With 6.5 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s, there is an enormous, immediate need for more federal resources and programs to prevent, treat and ultimately find a cure for this devastating disease,” said Smith, a steadfast advocate for those living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.
Just last month, Smith along with Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) introduced a bipartisan package of legislation—including the Alzheimer’s Accountability and Investment Act (Smith-Tonko) and the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) Reauthorization Act (Tonko-Smith)—to ensure a direct funding mechanism to combat Alzheimer’s and extend the national strategic plan addressing Alzheimer’s that is set to expire in 2025.
“Congress must step up its efforts to combat Alzheimer’s and advance this legislation now to help the millions of Americans coping with this disease,” said Smith, who co-authored the 2011 law that first created the U.S. Alzheimer’s national plan, which marked a historic commitment by the federal government to tackle the disease.
As co-author of the Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act, Smith has also been at the forefront in Congress to ensure that those who care for their loved ones living with Alzheimer’s have better access to training and support services.
“In addition to helping patients, Congress must also provide unpaid caregivers—who are primarily family members—with the resources necessary to overcome challenges presented by Alzheimer’s and give effective care,” said Smith.
“We must continue to build on our momentum and redouble our efforts to enhance awareness, support patients and caregivers, and robustly fund promising research,” Smith said.