Challenges for Nat’l Alzheimer’s Plan

The issue of Alzheimer’s Disease is in the spotlight in Marquette today.

A screening of the documentary, “14 Days With Alzheimer’s” will take place this evening. The film, by Marquette resident Lisa Cerasoli, chronicles the daily struggle of caring for Lisa’s grandmother. It’s billed as “love, laughs, tears, beers…and the power of compassion.” It will take place at Brookridge Heights Assisted Living and Memory Care tonight at 7 p.m.

The screening comes on the heels of a new report, “Alzheimer’s from the Frontlines: Challenges a National Alzheimer’s Plan Must Address,” offers the insights, perspectives and views from individuals across the country who participated in the Alzheimer’s Association’s® public input process. The Association and its more than 70 Chapters throughout the country, including the Greater Michigan Chapter, provided a platform for those directly affected by Alzheimer’s to share their views.

“Alzheimer’s from the Frontlines” provides a rare and unique window into the real, unrelenting challenges the disease forces on families year after year. Currently the sixth leading cause of death, Alzheimer’s is the only cause among the top 10 in the U.S. without a means to prevent, cure or even slow its progress.

From July to October, the Alzheimer’s Association gathered public input through online submissions, a Telephone Town Hall and 132 public input sessions across the United States. More than 43,000 individuals from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico engaged in the public input process, including people living with the disease, caregivers, families, researchers, health care professionals, community leaders and many more.

Today more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease – including as many as 8,500 right here in the Upper Peninsula said Ruth Almen, Regional Director/UP, Greater Michigan Chapter. “By 2050 as many as 16 million Americans will have the disease. Now is the time to do what we can to address the public health crisis of the 21st century. This is why we were proud to host public input sessions and our new report, “Alzheimer’s from the Frontlines,” is the result of an Alzheimer’s community galvanized by the historic opportunity of creating a National Alzheimer’s Plan to finally change the trajectory of the disease.”

Ten key challenges emerged throughout the public input process, among them increasing awareness of the impact of Alzheimer’s, fostering an environment that offers more effective treatments faster, providing better care throughout the disease process, ensuring better support for caregivers today and reducing the disparities that exist among diverse and underserved communities.

“The Alzheimer’s Association stands alongside these advocates who are committed to letting the nation’s leaders know in order to confront one of America’s most feared and costly diseases real, transformational action is urgently needed,” said Almen.

The full text of the Alzheimer’s Association’s “Alzheimer’s from the Frontlines: Challenges a National Alzheimer’s Plan Must Address” report can be viewed at