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Alzheimer's Association opens new local office
White Plains, MD - 9/4/2013
By Dick Myers
A symbolic ribbon was cut Thursday for the new Southern Maryland office of the Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area. President and CEO Susan Kudla Finn called the attendees crammed into the small office “part of the Army of help and hope here in Southern Maryland.” The office is at 10665 Stanhaven Place, Suite 205D in White Plains just off U.S. 301.
A number of dignitaries were on hand. But they were surrounded by that army of volunteers that make the Alzheimer’s Association able to provide the wide range of services that it does. Finn observed that someone had said to her that she was just a volunteer. Finn said, “There is no such thing as ‘just a volunteer’.”
Finn shared staggering statistics: 35 million people nationwide suffer from Alzheimer’s, 5 million in the United States, and 300,000 in Maryland. It is the sixth leading cause of death yet the only one among them without a cure. “That is unacceptable,” she said.
There is hope. Finn said the United State has a National Alzheimer’s plan, thanks to the work of Rep. Steny Hoyer (D; 5th) who was in attendance. But by 2050, she said, “We will break the financial bank of our country if we don’t find a cure.” The price tag then will by $1.2 trillion annually.
Volunteers and home care providers absorb the brunt of that financial impact now, providing 321 billion hours caring for their loved ones. That cost is $4 billion in Maryland, which if the state would have to pay for it would be one-third of the entire budget of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Finn noted that 10 percent of persons 60 and over are concerned about memory loss, yet 85 percent have not talked to a health care provider about it.
Hoyer received the Humanitarian Award from the Alzheimer’s Association in 2004 and has been co-chair of the annual walk in Waldorf along with State Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton. Hoyer said the Republican budget espoused by Paul Ryan would cut the budget of the National Institutes of Health by $6 billion, or 20 percent.
Hoyer praised the leadership of U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D) who in her Appropriations Committee leadership resisted those proposed cuts. Hoyer also called Sen. Ben Cardin “one of the leading health care experts in the country.”
Sen. Middleton, whose mother died from Alzheimer’s spoke passionately about his commitment to the case. He thanked the assembled volunteers. For the families of Alzheimer’s patients, he said, “It is the support system that makes the difference,”
A number of other dignitaries were on hand for the ribbon cutting, including Charles County Commissioners Kelly, Collins and Robinson, Sue Kullen representing Cardin and Nichelle Schoultz, representing Mikulski.
For more information about the Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter check their website: http://www.alz.org/nca/
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