Letter: The importance of the Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Act

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To the Editor,

November is National Caregiver Month. My sister and I cared for our mom, who had Alzheimer’s disease, for almost 20 years until she passed away in April 2020. We cared for her in her home. We didn’t consider ourselves “caregivers,” we were caring for our elders as it had always been done in our family.

Alzheimer’s disease is more than memory loss. It affects emotions, senses and movement. Each experience is unique to the individual. Caring for mom was a 24-hour, 7-day a week responsibility. My mom was not eligible for Medicaid so we paid for everything out of pocket. Caregiving resulted in financial strain and also wore on us mentally, emotionally and physically. We received no formal training for the many challenges of caregiving.

The Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Act will provide critical training and relief to unpaid caregivers. It will also increase awareness in medically underserved communities and communities of color of the services available to them.

Please join me in thanking U.S. Rep. Richie Torres for co-sponsoring the Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Act. Thanks to his support we hope to touch the many lives affected by Alzheimer’s disease, especially in underserved communities and communities of color.

Margaret Alexander,

NYC Chapter Alzheimer’s Association

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