Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, delivered good news to attendees at the Actively Caring Through Sharing Support Group for Women and Men Caregivers Meeting (ACTS) on Saturday, December 19, 2015 in Los Angeles.
As a longtime advocate for Alzheimer’s disease caregivers, the Congresswoman educated the caregivers on the robust funding for Alzheimer’s disease research and Alzheimer’s caregivers programs included in the Fiscal Year 2016 budget that Congress passed last week.
“I am very pleased that this robust funding will help caregivers offer emotional, physical and financial support to their loved ones who are battling Alzheimer’s disease. This additional funding will help provide caregivers with the resources that they need to provide the best care for their loved ones,” stated Congresswoman Waters.
The omnibus bill includes funding for the Alzheimer’s Disease Supportive Services Program (ADSPP), which aids families and caregivers affected by Alzheimer’s disease. ADSSP funds competitive grants to states to expand evidence-based interventions and long-term services to help patients with dementia and their caregivers. The funding for this program was increased by more than 25 percent, from $3.8 million in fiscal year 2015 to $4.8 million in fiscal year 2016.
Last March, Congresswoman Waters and Congressman Christopher Smith (NJ-4) circulated a letter in support of this program, which was signed by 21 Members of Congress.
In addition, the budget appropriates $14.7 million for the Alzheimer’s disease Initiative – Specialized Supportive Services program. This initiative provides specialized, person-centered services that help caregivers and Alzheimer’s patients to remain independent and safe in their communities. This initiative was launched in 2011 with a new website – alzheimers.gov – and a variety of outreach materials were developed. The initiative will continue to promote the new website to caregivers and associated organizations using materials already developed.
“This funding will make a tremendous difference in the lives of many caregivers, and I was pleased to provide the caregivers in ACTS information about what my fight to ensure programs that offer resources to them have the necessary funding to continue supporting their efforts,” stated Congresswoman Waters.
Congresswoman Waters has introduced legislation to help caregivers, such as Alzheimer’s Action Now, a set of bills that together will help Alzheimer’s patients and their families, promote public awareness, and encourage contributions to research efforts. Also included in Alzheimer’s Action Now is the Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act, which authorizes grants to public and non-profit organizations to expand training and support services for caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients.