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.  


Latest Census Bureau Population Estimates Indicate Aging Across Tennessee

According to numbers released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau, Tennessee's 2015 median age is 38.6 years, slightly older than the U.S. median age, which rose from 37.7 in 2014 to 37.8 in 2015.  The data release includes national, state and county population estimates for 2015 by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin.  A partner to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Tennessee ... (click for more)

Alexander Says Congress Needs To Pass 21st Century Cures Now

Senate health chairman Lamar Alexander on Thursday said the miraculous eyesight recovery of Tennessean Doug Oliver underscores the need for passage of 21st Century Cures to “unleash medical innovation and give more Americans access to life-changing treatments and life-saving cures, like Doug did.”  Senator Alexander made his remarks at a Bipartisan Policy Center event alongside ... (click for more)

Fire Destroys Highway 58 BBQ

A fire destroyed a barbeque restaurant on Highway 58 on Friday afternoon.   Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to the Highway 58 BBQ around 6 p.m. The business is located at 4921 Highway 58. Though the business was housed in a small building, the flames and smoke could be seen from a long distance away.  Captain Teri Rose with Quint 6 said the ... (click for more)

2nd Independent Candidate May Be On Walker County Ballot

A second Independent candidate may be on the ballot for sole commissioner of Walker County in the election on Nov. 8. Perry D. Lamb, Jr. has been working toward collecting the necessary 1,640 signatures of registered voters on a petition. His campaign said he is close to the goal. Incumbent Bebe Heiskell is running an an Independent. Election officials said since she was ... (click for more)

Improvements Needed At Entrance To Wilcox Tunnel

I am writing this letter to bring to your attention to a city traffic issue that needs to be addressed immediately, the sooner the better. I can see no large cost factor.   Recently, while as a concerned citizen, removing trash and litter from the entry/exit area of the Wilcox Tunnel on the side that runs into Chamberlain Avenue, I fully realized that this area could ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Looking For A Wife

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, is a really cool place. I tried to buy a huge mounted buffalo head in an antique store there one time until I found out the shipping charges were four times what the head was worth. But suddenly my rapt attention is riveted on Coeur d'Alene again because a dazzling social experiment is taking place this very moment at a plush resort in north Idaho. Several ... (click for more)