Letter for Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Take care of all with Alzheimer’s

For over 30 years, my mother was a nurse who, in addition to being commensurately professional and compassionate in her work life, raised my two younger brothers and myself the way only a dedicated mother can. She’s been a point of stability for me for my most of my life.

Two years ago, during a lengthy diagnostic process, my mother was forced to retire early from her decades-long nursing career, after which we discovered that she had posterior cortical atrophy, a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer’s.

She was 57 at the time. Since then, our roles in life have suddenly and irrevocably shifted: I have (alongside my father) become a point of stability, the support staff, for my mother, and will be until she passes.

November is National Family Caregivers Month in November and during this time of year it is important to keep remember that stories similar to mine are shared by the 16 million caretakers of a person with Alzheimer’s nationwide. There are an estimated 200,000 American citizens living with some form of early onset Alzheimer’s like my mother has.

Yet for people like her, who develop symptoms before age 60, necessary community and home-based services are not supported.

I’m asking you to urge Sen. Hirono to co-sponsor the Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Act of 2019 (H.R. 1903/S. 901) which end the withholding of affordable access to in-home services, legal representation, transportation services, and caregiver support on the basis of age of diagnosis.

Colten Moore, Kapaa

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