Alzheimer’s Association 21st Annual Public Policy Forum

Alzheimer’s Association 21st Annual Public Policy Forum

Abilene, Texas Ron and Aubri Ward, of Abilene, were among hundreds of Alzheimer advocates from across the country who went to the nation’s capitol for the 2009 Alzheimer’s Association 21st Annual Public Policy Forum March 23-25. {{more}} There are as many as 5.2 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s today and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. In Texas alone, nearly 300,000 residents age 65 and older have Alzheimer’s or a related dementia and as many as 746,000 family members and friends caring for them. Not only is Alzheimer’s devastating for millions of families, it also has the potential to bankrupt Medicare and Medicaid. Ron and Aubri joined with other Alzheimer advocates to urge members of Congress to address the public health threat this disease poses to the country. “My husband Ron is 56 years old, and is one of millions of people in the United States affected by Alzheimer’s disease,” said Aubri Ward. “This disease doesn’t just happen to individuals like him; its ripple effects are felt throughout entire families. My husband and I are going to Washington to tell our legislators about how an Alzheimer diagnosis changes one’s life forever. With an aging baby boomer population, it is more urgent than ever that federal research funding be increased in order to find better treatments or even better – a cure.”