Letter: Michele Darwin, Ashburn

Editor: According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 are living with Alzheimer’s disease. However, because of their young age, these individuals are not eligible for support and service programs available to older American’s.

Earlier this week I joined over 1,200 Alzheimer’s advocates from around the country on Capitol Hill for the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement Advocacy Forum. As an Alzheimer’s Association Ambassador, I met with staff from the office of Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton and was joined by nine other VA10 constituents touched by Alzheimer’s, including an Ashburn mother of three whose husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at 47. We spoke on several issues, including the Young-Onset Alzheimer’s Act of 2019. The rising costs of caring for a loved one with dementia is overwhelming for every family, but the impact to younger families who are too young to qualify for programs and services is particularly devastating.

Please join me in urging Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton to co-sponsor the bi-partisan Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s Act of 2019 which would allow individuals under the age of 60 to be eligible to access programs under the Older Americans Act.

Michele Darwin, Ashburn

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