Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t strike just the elderly. The 200,000 Americans diagnosed with dementia before age 65 need services like in-home care, transportation and caregiver support.

Advocates working with the Alzheimer’s Association have asked members of Congress to co-sponsor the Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Act. This bipartisan proposal would amend the Older Americans Act to serve these families, too, through our Area Agencies on Aging.

I am hopeful that Reps. Simpson and Fulcher and Sens. Crapo and Risch will co-sponsor this needed legislation. Fulcher, in fact, is a new member of the committee that must approve it. Simpson has been a past Alzheimer’s champion, and we look for him to continue to support this critical legislation.

Here in Blaine County, we lost a beloved Ketchum City Council member, Christina Potters, to younger-onset Alzheimer’s. I lost my mother to Alzheimer’s and now serve as a volunteer educator and Alzheimer’s Association ambassador to Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District, and I know the heavy burden that families carry.

All our members of Congress should continue to actively support policies that address Alzheimer’s disease as the national public-health crisis it is. Please join me in urging our congressmen to support and approve this vital legislation.

Gini Ballou, Hailey

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