To the Editor:
I am a current student at Providence College studying Health Policy and Management, and I have recently begun volunteering at the Alzheimer’s Association Rhode Island Chapter. Through my education of our current healthcare system, I have developed a passion for the quality of care of the aging population. As I have learned that the fastest growing age group within the United States are those 85 years of age and older, I have begun to understand the necessity for congressional action. Among those of this age group, and even those under the age of 60, suffer from chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, it is imperative to develop a system which gives eligibility to individuals to access support and services.
In addition to the access of services under the Older Americans Act, it is necessary to implement a system which informs both patients and their families on the importance of palliative care. With the goal of palliative care being to provide a system to maximize functional independence, it is vital to establish a system which educates staff members of extended care facilities on the elements of this care.
Both Congressman Langevin and Congressman Cicilline have passed The Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Act as well as The Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act in order to tackle the issues above this week. Both Acts will work to improve the quality of care of our growing elderly population. I am committed to supporting this legislation in any way possible by asking our Senators to take action and pass the OAA Reauthorization as well as the PCHETA.
We are need of a more serious commitment to providing the best care possible to combat this Alzheimer’s Disease as the population affected continues to grow. I ask for your time and consideration for this call for action.
Volunteer and Student
The Alzheimer’s Association