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Assistant Secretary Greenlee Joins in Recognizing November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

I join President Obama in recognizing November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.

As many as 2.4 million to 5.1 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The population age 65 and older is growing rapidly and is expected to double by 2050, according to the United States Census Bureau. Since the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias rises progressively with age, an increasing number of persons and families will need access to services and supports to help them cope with these diseases.

Helping older Americans who have Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias maintain their dignity and independence is central to our mission at the Administration on Aging’s (AoA). Access to the appropriate supports is critical in understanding and managing these diseases, especially those services that allow families to plan in the early stages of the disease and those that support family caregivers.

I commend all those living with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers, including family and friends, who support them. AoA together with our entire aging network is committed to helping persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias enjoy quality lives at home for as long as possible.

Recently I announced over $10 million dollars in new funding through the AoA Alzheimer’s Disease Supportive Services Program to support states’ efforts to embed good practices regarding dementia into state long-term services and support systems and improve support for families caring for loved ones with dementia. Through this program, states and their community partners work collaboratively to implement evidence-based interventions that have been proven effective in helping persons with these diseases and their family caregivers, and test new models for providing an array of community supports for these families. With this new funding, states are enabling persons in the earliest stages of their disease to plan for their long term care needs; teaching families techniques to prevent or reduce stress often associated with care giving; providing services for caregivers of veterans with dementia in partnership with Veteran’s Health Administration Hospitals, and training medical professionals about dementia including ways to link patients and families to community resources.

For more information about the AoA Program and its current projects, please visit Alzheimer's Disease Supportive Services Program.

Read the President’s proclamation on National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.