Letter to the editor: Encourage senators to support Alzheimer’s protection bill | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Encourage senators to support Alzheimer’s protection bill

As we deal with the continued community spread of the coronavirus in Summit County, and consider the impacts on vulnerable populations, we remember the at-risk elderly living here. Though it may not always be visible, there are many local residents living with dementia here, too.

Age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. As Colorado’s population ages, our state is expected to see a 21% increase in the number of Coloradans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s over the next five years. Because of the cognitive decline associated with the disease, these individuals will be at greater risk of abuse and neglect.

How can we protect Coloradans living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia from physical, mental, emotional, sexual and financial abuse? Congress has the answer: The Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness to Prevent Elder Abuse Act. This initiative requires the Department of Justice to educate emergency responders, judges, prosecutors and other justice system workers about how to communicate and interact with people with dementia. This important training will improve those workers’ ability to assist people with dementia and protect them from all forms of abuse and neglect.

Thank you Rep. Joe Neguse for protecting Coloradans living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia by being the first member of Congress from Colorado to cosponsor this significant legislation. Please consider asking Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner to join you in actively supporting it, as well. I appreciate you joining me in the fight to end Alzheimer’s and support those living with it until that day comes.

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