Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness of Elder Abuse Act

To the editor:

My story is not rare, as I am one of millions of people that has been impacted by friends and loved ones with Alzheimer’s. My mother lived with the disease for 8 years, so I am aware of the emotional, physical, and financial toll this disease takes. I watched the toil this took on my mother and my father, who was the primary caregiver, as my mother gradually progressed through the debilitating stages of this horrible disease that progressively strips away their mental and physical abilities. I hope to spare this hardship for other families in the future.

For these reasons, I have asked my elected officials to make support for this vulnerable population a priority. Increased research funding is vital, but so too are enhanced care and support services for individuals and their caregivers. Thankfully, our Senator, Mike Braun is taking an active stance on this issue by cosponsoring the bipartisan Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness of Elder Abuse Act (S.3703).This piece of legislation would require the Department of Justice (DOJ) to develop training materials to assist law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, medical personnel, victims services personnel, and others who encounter and support individuals living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Dementia-specific training materials for these professionals will improve the quality of their interactions with individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and will also help protect them from elder abuse.

Please join me in thanking Senator Mike Braun for ensuring that Alzheimer's is brought to the forefront of the congressional agenda. Together, we have the opportunity to help those struggling with this terrible disease until the day comes when we have a prevention or a cure.

— Kent Reyling

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