Saluting the Research Pioneers in the Fight Against Alzheimer's

Saluting the Research Pioneers in the Fight Against Alzheimer's

09.11.12 | By

Today we're featuring a blog post from Val Halamandaris, the President of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC). NAHC is a cohost of tomorrow night's Research and Hope Awards ceremony, which provides an opportunity for all of us to celebrate the progress that has been made in the battle against Alzheimer's disease.

Before we get to Val's great post, I urge you to check out the new ad we are featuring in Roll Call about the upcoming Awards ceremony. In the ad, we acknowledge the recipients of the Awards for dedicating their lives to help advance research and patient care, and providing hope that this devastating disease can be slowed, prevented or beaten. You can see a snapshot of the ad below.

Every day for the next 18 years, 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65. Add to this 45 million seniors and 12 million disabled persons and there will be a total of 135 million Americans at greater risk for Alzheimer's, Dementia, Parkinson's and other debilitating diseases. All will require assistance in some form to remain independent in their own homes and perform essential tasks of daily living.

On Wednesday night, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) will join with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), Alzheimer's Foundation of America, and the National Alliance for Caregiving in recognizing extraordinary achievement in the search for a cure or treatment for Alzheimer's by those in academia, the patient and caregiving community, and the biopharmaceutical sector.

Never in the history of modern health care has there been a greater opportunity to keep patients out of hospitals and costly institutional care settings. Breakthrough medicines and treatments are playing a critical role in this regard, and it's clear that more must be done to provide patients with the high quality health care they deserve (five percent of Americans represent 50 percent of national health care costs, which serves as a reminder that caring for our nations seniors must continue to be a foremost priority).

Alzheimer's, in particular, presents a number of challenges and could cost $1.1 trillion (in today's dollars) by 2050. However, it also signifies the opportunity that exists in redefining how we care for affected Americans. Incorporating the latest in information and communications technology, including new generations of mobile apps, will greatly increase adherence to specific treatment regimens and improve the lives of millions. More than ever, Americans are able to remain in their homes instead of being placed in institutions, and the combination of innovative future medicines, advances in technology and greater coordination within health care will help put us on a path to an Alzheimer's-free future.

By all accounts, we're making progress every day. On Wednesday, we'll salute those confronting Alzheimer's head on and reinforce our shared commitment to providing hope to patients who rely on it.

Val J. Halamandaris is the President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice.

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