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Message from Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee, November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

Estimates indicate that between 2.4 and 4.7 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. This number is expected to grow as the population ages rapidly, with millions more projected to develop these tragic diseases in their lifetimes. While there is no cure yet, there are effective strategies to help persons and families coping with the impacts of these diseases.

Helping older Americans who have Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias maintain their dignity and independence is central to the Administration on Aging’s (AoA) mission. 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. Each year, family caregivers provide thousands of hours of unpaid care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. I commend the efforts of these courageous caregivers, who share AoA’s goal of helping their family members 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. Through this program, states and their community partners work collaboratively to expand the array of services and supports for families caring for loved ones with these diseases. With this new funding, seven states will implement evidence-based interventions that have been proven effective in helping persons with these diseases and their family caregivers, while nine states will test new models for providing an array of community supports for these families. For more information about the AoA Program and its current projects, please visit: Alzheimer’s Disease Supportive Services Program