Letters to the Editor - July 16, 2018

  • Written by Readers
Alzheimer’s disease is the only leading cause of death that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed. This matters deeply to the more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, including 110,000 in Washington.
As a caregiver to my wife Taryn of 42 years, I understand firsthand the impact this disease has on families across America. We are seeing more and more families that we know in Woodinville that are being affected with this challenge.
I am an advocate for the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement that reports directly to Suzan DelBene and Patty Murray on the funds and accomplishments being made in the State of Washington as it relates to the Alzheimer’s relief efforts in the State of Washington.
My wife Taryn has early onset dementia Alzheimer’s and was diagnosed approximately 7 years ago. Since then she has lost privileges that we all take for granted. Driving, shopping, taking care of the household and working at the salon that she owned for 27 years. We have employed private in home care individuals as well as professionals from Synergy Health Care to assist with Taryn’s care. We also rely on family members, neighbors and friends.
The professionals (Scientists, Doctors, Therapists and Nurses) that are requesting additional funds to eradicate this memory and personality robbing disease are tired. So are the unpaid caregivers that have loved ones affected with this disease.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, in 2018, caring for individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias will cost $277 billion – including $186 billion in direct costs to Medicare and Medicaid. This doesn’t include the millions of dollars in care that is being gifted to patients by family members, neighbors and friends that are currently being cared for. 
I am grateful that since 2011 Congress has quadrupled Alzheimer’s research funding at the National Institutes of Health. This effort has been led by Washington’s  own Senator Patty Murray in her role on the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Please join me in thanking Senator Murray for being a champion in the fight to end Alzheimer’s. I am also grateful for the continued support of Senator Maria Cantwell and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene.
Jeff Jensen, Woodinville

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