I am pleased to share that the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act became federal law on Dec. 31, 2018. This underscores how Montana’s elected officials are working together to address Alzheimer’s as a public health crisis — not just from a funding standpoint, but also from a caregiver standpoint.
Truthfully, I struggle with intense fear of my own possible genetic susceptibility to this disease, having lost my uncle to rare young-onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 53. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that in Montana, there are 20,000 people living with Alzheimer’s and more than 49,000 caregivers. It is my honor to represent them in advocacy.
Therefore with deep respect and appreciation, I thank Gov. Bullock for co-authoring a Newsweek editorial in support of BOLD. I thank Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Director Sheila Hogan for personally asking our members of Congress to co-sponsor BOLD. I thank Rep. Gianforte and Sen. Tester for enthusiastically co-sponsoring BOLD, and I thank Sen. Daines for supporting its passage.
By applying a public health approach to reduce risk, detect early symptoms and advance care, Montana’s elected officials are helping to change the trajectory of this devastating disease.