Today, more than 6 million Americans (including 76,000 Kentuckians) are living with Alzheimer’s – a number expected to double by 2050. More than 11 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. These caregivers provided an estimated 15.3 billion hours of unpaid assistance, a contribution to the nation valued at $256.7 billion.

Dementia caregivers often lack the information or resources necessary to manage complex medication regimens. As a former caregiver, I understand firsthand this disease has on families. My family and I provided care for my mother, who suffered from dementia. It was a very daunting task, from administering medication, dealing with insurance, doctor/hospital visits and providing care for her basic needs all while striving to keep her happy and content. Now more than ever, we need aid to support the emotionally, physically and financially draining role of being a caregiver.

Thankfully, the bipartisan Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act (S56/H.R.1474) would provide much-needed relief for our nation’s dementia caregivers. This act would provide grants to expand training and much-needed support services for unpaid caregivers. Grantees would be able to reach diverse communities to provide this training and support.

Please join me in asking Sen. Rand Paul to co-sponsor the Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act.

Robin Prunty