To the editor:

In 2019, caring for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias will cost the country $290 billion. We must address Alzheimer’s as the public health crisis it is.

As a former partner to my husband and as the executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Cincinnati Chapter, I understand very well the enormous burden dementia has on Ohio families. I lost my husband, Steve, to Younger Onset Alzheimer’s – he was diagnosed at the age of 52.

Thankfully, Congress took an important step to address the crisis and passed the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act with a strong bipartisan vote. As scientists continue to search for treatments and preventions, public health plays an important role in promoting cognitive function and reducing the risk of cognitive decline.

It is critical that we invest in a nationwide Alzheimer’s public health response, like the one established in the BOLD Act, to help create population-level improvements, achieve a higher quality of life for those living with the disease and their caregivers, and reduce associated costs.

Please join me in asking Congressman Brad Wenstrup to take the next bold step and fully fund the new law at $20 million a year.

Paula Kollstedt
Executive Director
Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Cincinnati