To the editor:

Throughout the past year, the 11 million Americans who are caregivers for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias have faced considerable challenges as they have navigated the complexities of caregiving during a pandemic. The COVID-19 crisis has laid bare what was already true for caregivers in our country: They need more support to cope with the emotionally, physically, and financially draining aspects of being a caregiver.

Caregiving for my mom, who is living with dementia, was made considerably more difficult due to the COVID-19 crisis. I had to deal with an immediate loss of services and support to assist me in caring for her. The physical and emotional demands placed on me during this time were almost unbearable. The lack of socialization and feelings of depression, anxiety and isolation were overwhelming to my emotional well-being. The stress of it all would have been so much better if access to caregiver support services had been available.

Thankfully, the bipartisan Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act (S.56/ H.R.1474) would provide much-needed relief for our nation’s dementia caregivers, and Rep. Sanford Bishop has co-sponsored this critical legislation. Through this bill, grantees including community health centers, senior centers, area agencies on aging, and more, would reach diverse communities to provide this training and support for families and caregivers.

Caregivers need our help and support. Please join me and the Alzheimer’s Association in thanking Rep. Sanford Bishop for his support of caregivers and for his co-sponsorship of the Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act.

Shonda Cross-Bell

Albany

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