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.  


Free Home Safety Community Event For Falls Prevention Awareness Day Offered On Sept. 23

Siskin Hospital, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department, and several local agencies have partnered to offer the community a free Falls Prevention Awareness Day and Home Safety event. The event will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 23, at the Hixson Lowe’s on Highway 153 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Fall Prevention Chattanooga aims to raise awareness and provide resources for preventing ... (click for more)

Senator Alexander Discusses Seriousness Of Ebola Virus

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said that the nation’s leaders “must take the deadly, dangerous threat of Ebola as seriously as they take ISIL.” Alexander said the spread of the disease requires a more urgent response from the United States and other countries. “This is one of the most explosive, dangerous, deadly epidemics in modern times. The nations of the world know what it ... (click for more)

Sewell Says City, EPB "Close" On Amount Owed By Utility To City On Street Light Overbilling

City Internal Auditor Stan Sewell told City Council members on Tuesday that EPB and the city are "close" on the amount owed by the utility to the city on street light overbilling. Mr. Sewell said the city computed the amount at about $1.2 million, while he said EPB's auditing firm, Mauldin and Jenkins, has it at $1.5 million for an 89-month period that was audited. Mr. Sewell ... (click for more)

City Council Votes 5-4 On New Process For Naming IDB Members

The City Council voted Tuesday night 5-4 to set up a new process for naming members to the Industrial Development Board (IDB), which currently has four vacancies. The process includes three City Council panels: A (Districts 1, 2, 3), B (Districts 4, 5, 6), and C (Districts 7, 8, 9). Group A will fill two of the vacancies and Groups B and C one each. Agreement ... (click for more)

Candidates Should State Facts, Not Fiction

At a recent forum for candidates for the Signal Mountain Town Council, one candidate, Mr. Chris Howley, discussed a number of issues and presented “facts” using incorrect or misleading statements.   Here are several issues that should be clarified:   1.       On the road up the mountain:   “I called TDOT.   I talked to Ken ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I’m Certainly No Expert

Sometime on Monday night, after I had written a piece on getting swatted with a switch as a kid, I got an email from ESPN Canada asking if I would be a televised guest on “Off the Record,” the most watched daily sports show in Canada. The subject: corporal punishment in America. Are you kidding me? I am hardly an expert. All weekend my world of sports and its excitement was warped ... (click for more)