One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s disease. As the only leading cause of death in the U.S. that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed, it is imperative that we have elected officials who are working to make Alzheimer’s a national priority.

As an Alzheimer’s Association advocate, I was fortunate to meet with Congressman Kevin McCarthy to discuss the staggering impact of Alzheimer’s on California and across the nation. In a meeting at his office, my fellow advocates and I shared our own personal experience with this devastating disease. We implored Congressman McCarthy to be a champion in Congress for the Californians living with Alzheimer’s.

More than 16 million Americans provide unpaid care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other dementias and care planning is essential to learning about medical and non-medical treatments, clinical trials and support services available in their community. Accessing these services can result in a higher quality of life. Thankfully as of January 2017, Medicare covers critical care planning services. However, not enough patients and providers are aware of this resource.

That’s why I am asking Congressman McCarthy to cosponsor the Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act (S. 880/H.R. 1873). The Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act would help educate clinicians on Alzheimer’s and dementia care planning through Medicare. Please join me in asking Congressman McCarthy to support the Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act. To learn more about this disease and how you can join the fight to end Alzheimer’s, visit alzimpact.org.

Susan A. Bodnar, Ridgecrest