Senate Aging Committee Examines International Approaches To Alzheimer's And Dementia Care

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wi.), chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and Senator Bob Corker (R-Tn.), the committee’s ranking member, released an official committee report on Wednesday that offers a comparison of international approaches to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care. The report examined five countries—Australia, France, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States—and their approaches to diagnosis, treatment and long-term care options for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and their family members.

  The other countries were chosen because they have similar economies to the U.S. and highlight different aspects of the Alzheimer’s challenge for policy makers.

“Alzheimer’s disease is a growing national concern and we must commit to addressing it in the most comprehensive way possible.  There are enormous costs, both personal and financial to this disease,” said Chairman Kohl.  “We urgently need to prepare for the increasing number of Alzheimer’s diagnoses, and how to curb this mounting epidemic.”

“My father had Alzheimer's, so I understand the emotional and financial difficulties facing families dealing with this devastating illness.  I hope this report will help inform the debate in our country over how to provide the best care possible given the significant budgetary and health care challenges presented by increasing cases of Alzheimer’s,” said Senator Corker.

This report highlights the global efforts to coordinate research and early detection interventions. It also underscores an increasing trend to keep Alzheimer’s patients in their homes for as long as possible, while developing more specialized environments for those who need intensive around-the-clock care.

The Alzheimer’s Association (AA) estimates that in the next 40 years, the cost of Alzheimer’s disease to all payers, including governments, insurance companies and individuals, will total $20 trillion. AA also estimates that 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, valued at $210 billion. In 2012 alone, Alzheimer’s patients and families spent an estimated $33 billion in out-of-pocket costs.  Furthermore, in the last year, Alzheimer’s disease cost $104.5 billion to Medicare and $33.5 billion to Medicaid. These expenses are expected to rise 500 percent over the next four decades.

Since its inception, the Senate Special Committee on Aging has focused on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia as critical public health problems.  The committee has held a series of hearings on the disease and has heard testimony from prominent voices, such as former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, on the importance of continued research, vigilance and appropriate care.  


Erlanger Opens Sixth Emergency Department To Serve Sequatchie Valley

Residents of the Sequatchie Valley are invited to tour the area’s only 24/7 emergency center during Open House festivities for the new Sequatchie Valley Emergency Department on Sunday from 2 - 4 p.m. (CDT), at 16931 Rankin Avenue in Dunlap, Tn. To celebrate the grand opening of the new emergency center, officials with Erlanger Health System will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony ... (click for more)

Morning Pointe Hosts Car Wash And Hot Dog Sale This Saturday

Morning Pointe of Chattanooga will be having a car wash and hot dog sale this Saturday from 8 a.m. – noon at the assisted living facility. All proceeds will go to the Alzheimer’s Association.   (click for more)

Harr Outlines $40 Million Plan For Chattanooga Light Rail System

Outgoing Chamber of Commerce President Ron Harr on Monday outlined a $40 million plan for a Chattanooga light rail system that would serve not only downtown, but also the Airport and the Enterprise South Industrial Park. In a speech to the Chattanooga Engineers Club, Mr. Harr said most cities looking at such an ambitious plan "would be facing costs of over a billion dollars." ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Choo Choo Adding Clubs, Restaurants In $8 Million Renovation

The historic Chattanooga Choo Choo is adding clubs and restaurants in a $7 million renovation, it was announced in front of the South Market Street landmark on Monday morning. The Comedy Catch will be moving from its longtime home in Brainerd and there will be a new 500-person music venue that will be in addition to Track 29. The new venue, managed by Track 29, will feature a ... (click for more)

Senator Bob Corker: An Open Letter To Tennesseans

We are incredibly fortunate to live in a state in which companies worldwide are clamoring to establish a presence. Many attribute it to our pro-business culture, well-prepared workforce, low tax environment, right-to-work policies, and engaged citizenry.  That is why the announcement by Volkswagen to build its midsize sports utility vehicle and establish the South’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Wamp Refuses To Stoop

With less than two weeks before the Aug. 7 th election and the last week of early voting now underway in Hamilton County, Congressional challenger Weston Wamp sounded upbeat and relaxed early yesterday afternoon. “I’m pleased to say that I believe we are right where we need to be … maybe even more than we had hoped.” Wamp, who is challenging two-term incumbent Chuck Fleishmann ... (click for more)