To the Editor:

As a family member of an individual living with Alzheimer’s, I understand firsthand the difficulties associated with diagnosis, treatment and care planning.

A clear diagnosis regarding Alzheimer’s and other dementias is hard to get due to the lack of understanding and treatment surrounding these diseases. Unfortunately we have to be our own advocates.

Even though my Granny passed away earlier this year, I am continuing to learn all I can and share it with my community so others have the information they need to care for their loved ones.

Please know you are not alone. About 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease; 390,000 of them are Texans.

For individuals living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, care planning is essential to learning about medical and non-medical treatments, clinical trials, and support services available in their community.

Since 2017, Medicare has covered care planning for individuals with cognitive impairment including dementia. However, in the first year, fewer than 1% of seniors living with Alzheimer’s received the Medicare care planning benefit.

The Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act would educate clinicians on Alzheimer’s and dementia care planning services available through Medicare, giving clinicians the knowledge and tools to better help their patients and families living with dementia.

Join the Alzheimer’s Association in thanking Congressman John Carter for supporting all individuals affected by Alzheimer’s disease, and ask that he cosponsor the Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act. (H.R. 1873).

Stephenie Evans

Belton

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