Family Caregiver Alliance extends our deepest sympathy to the family, many friends and colleagues of former President Ronald Reagan.
The passing of former President Reagan brings into focus the wide swath of personal destruction cut by Alzheimer’s disease on the individual, their family and friends. Often termed “the long good-bye,” the gradual loss of memory, of relationships and of the person’s very spirit can cause great sadness within even the most resilient of families. The losses are on so many fronts: The loss of a spouse with whom dreams of retirement are forever altered. The loss of a parent who cannot recognize children or grandchildren. The loss of a lifetime friend who cannot remember youthful days and shared joys.
Now is the time to renew our efforts both to advocate for increased research into the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and to our commitment to support families caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or a related condition. There is never just one victim of Alzheimer’s disease – it is a condition that affects the whole family system. We must not forget that families are the backbone of the “long term care system” in our country and must be recognized and supported with information, education, counseling and respite.
In the spirit of this time, Family Caregiver Alliance encourages everyone to get involved in caregiving efforts in your community and to support organizations advocating for research and services for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. Let your legislators know you support the Ronald Reagan Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Act of 2004, which increases funding for research and caregiver sup-port programs.
Since our inception in 1977, Family Caregiver Alliance has seen great strides in both these areas. It is now time to increase our resolve to make the future a brighter place for all.
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