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Virtual Town Hall with Senator Markey

THURSDAY, JUNE 18 - In honor of Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month, U.S. Senator and Alzheimer's champion Ed Markey discussed the challenges facing those living with dementia and their caregivers, and celebrated the 10th anniversary of the National Alzheimer's Project Act.

Watch the Recording

Federal Support for the Dementia Community

People living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia are at increased risk of having serious complications relating to COVID-19 due to their typical age and likelihood of coexisting conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults and those with serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease are at higher risk of getting very sick from this virus.

As Congress works on the fourth economic relief package, the Alzheimer's Association is asking Congress to include three bipartisan policies to support the Alzheimer's community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a quick summary of our current policy priorities for Congress to include in the next economic response package. Locally, we have held virtual meetings with nearly every congressional office to discuss these priorities and other issues our population is facing due to this unprecedented time.

Addressing the Crisis in Long Term Care

These challenges are being strongly felt in long-term care settings. Nursing homes and assisted living communities are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis, where 48% of nursing home residents are living with dementia, and 42% of residents in residential care facilities, including assisted living communities, have Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Residents with dementia are particularly susceptible to COVID-19 due to their typical age, their significantly increased likelihood of coexisting chronic conditions, and the community nature of these settings. 

The Alzheimer’s Association is sounding the alarm and has released important guidance urging policymakers to implement new policy solutions to address the dramatic and evolving issues impacting nursing homes and assisted living communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

State and Local

We have been responding to this crisis directly on the state-level by urging policymakers and working with stakeholders to adopt the critical policy guidelines to enhance testing in community settings; implement necessary reporting; develop protocols to respond to a rise in cases; and ensure care communities have the necessary equipment (i.e. PPE).

In Massachusetts, the Alzheimer’s Association strongly supports the essential first steps outlined in An Act relative to longterm care facility and elder housing COVID-19 reporting put forward by the state legislature and hope to see its swift enactment. You can read our testimony here.

We will continue to work with our federal, state, and local officials as well as key industry stakeholders to ensure these critical measures are enacted.

If you have questions, concerns, or issues you would like to share, please reach out to us directly: dzotos@alz.org

How You Can Help

  1. Urge Congress to protect and enhance resources for vulnerable populations! You can send and personalize a message to your member of Congress by clicking here
  2. If you are from Massachusetts, please urge your State Senator to immediately pass H.4667, An Act An Act Relative to Long Term Care Facility and Elder Housing COVID-19 Reporting. You can send and personalize a quick message directly to your State Senator by clicking here.

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