Alzheimer’s disease is present in every state and every community in Nebraska. Alzheimer’s disease is fatal with no known cure or ways to slow the devastation that it brings.

Many people believe that Alzheimer’s disease affects primarily older people, but that is not always the case. My husband was diagnosed with this devastating disease four years ago at the age of 61. I was 55 at the time, and we were looking forward to eventual retirement and time with our children and grandchildren. For now, we have learned to live in the moment, while this insidious disease is taking my husband from us a little more each day.

There is hope. The Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Act (H.R. 1903/S.901) would provide access to respite services for family caregivers, educational programs and pathways toward financial and emotional support under the Older Americans Act. These services give families the resources they need to improve and maintain quality of life for as long as possible.

I would like to thank Sen. Deb Fischer for co-sponsoring the Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Act and the Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act. Her diligence has moved this important legislation closer to passage and closer to providing the needed resources for Nebraska families.

As a wife, mother, grandmother and now a caregiver, I am asking that Congress pass the Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Act. Please join me in encouraging Rep. Adrian Smith and Sen. Ben Sasse to please support the Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Act of 2019. Together, we can make a difference.

Lori Reiner