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US activists urge new Alzheimer’s approach

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The Youth Movement Against Alzheimer’s (YMAA), a nonprofit with high school and college chapters across the country, has created a MoveOn.org petition aims to put Alzheimer’s at the forefront of the upcoming election.

70 collegiate members will hand-deliver the signed petitions to congressional leaders and candidates on Capitol Hill on Oct 24th during the Us Against Alzheimer’s Advocacy Day.

The call to action includes demanding that presidential candidates and members of Congress work to invest in better care by increasing support and available resources for family caregivers.

It also calls for more investment in finding a cure by increasing federal funding for Alzheimer’s research– and to harness the power of volunteers to fight ageism and promote healthy ageing.

Presidential candidates are also urged to give caregivers a break by advancing economic and workforce policies that ease economic hardship of caregiving.

The group also wants them to promote an early and accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s by encouraging early assessment, proactive brain health across the lifespan, and improved access to diagnostic tools among health providers.

“We want to tell our presidential candidates and elected leaders that young people care about the Alzheimer’s crisis,” said YMAA Chairman and co-founder, Nihal Satyadev.

“1.5 million young people provide Alzheimer’s-related care, and 40 percent go into debt doing it. We should not be punished for becoming caregivers, and these numbers are way too high to go unacknowledged.”

Currently in the US, 16 million caregivers provide 18 billion hours in unpaid care. This equates to an annual cost of US$290 billion, which is projected to rise to US$1.1 trillion by 2050.

“Alzheimer’s disease is not only a healthcare issue, but it’s a social and economic issue that can and will bankrupt our economy,” said incoming CEO, Harrison Ma. “We hope this petition highlights that both youth and older adults acknowledge the problem and want comprehensive solutions.” 

The YMAA provides opportunities for high school and college students to volunteer, research and advocate for Alzheimer’s. YMAA envisions a culture where youth embrace aging and alleviate the impact of Alzheimer’s.

www.theyouthmovement.org

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