42 USC 11201 - Findings

The Congress finds that
(1) best estimates indicate that between 2,000,000 and 3,000,000 Americans presently have Alzheimers disease or related dementias;
(2) estimates of the number of individuals afflicted with Alzheimers disease and related dementias are unreliable because current diagnostic procedures lack accuracy and sensitivity and because there is a need for epidemiological data on incidence and prevalence of such disease and dementias;
(3) studies estimate that between one-half and two-thirds of patients in nursing homes meet the clinical and mental status criteria for dementia;
(4) the cost of caring for individuals with Alzheimers disease and related dementias is great, and conservative estimates range between $38,000,000,000 and $42,000,000,000 per year solely for direct costs;

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(5) progress in the neurosciences and behavioral sciences has demonstrated the interdependence and mutual reinforcement of basic science, clinical research, and services research for Alzheimers disease and related dementias;
(6) programs initiated as part of the Decade of the Brain are likely to provide significant progress in understanding the fundamental mechanisms underlying the causes of, and treatments for, Alzheimers disease and related dementias;
(7) although substantial progress has been made in recent years in identifying possible leads to the causes of Alzheimers disease and related dementias, and more progress can be expected in the near future, there is little likelihood of a breakthrough in the immediate future that would eliminate or substantially reduce
(A) the number of individuals with the disease and dementias; or
(B) the difficulties of caring for the individuals;
(8) the responsibility for care of individuals with Alzheimers disease and related dementias falls primarily on their families, and the care is financially and emotionally devastating;
(9) attempts to reduce the emotional and financial burden of caring for dementia patients is impeded by a lack of knowledge about such patients, how to care for such patients, the costs associated with such care, the effectiveness of various modes of care, the quality and type of care necessary at various stages of the disease, and other appropriate services that are needed to provide quality care;
(10) the results of the little research that has been undertaken concerning dementia has been inadequate or the results have not been widely disseminated;
(11) more knowledge is needed concerning
(A) the epidemiology of, and the identification of risk factors for, Alzheimers disease and related dementias;

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(B) the development of methods for early diagnosis, functional assessment, and psychological evaluation of individuals with Alzheimers disease for the purpose of monitoring the course of the disease and developing strategies for improving the quality of life for such individuals;
(C) the understanding of the optimal range and cost-effectiveness of community and institutional services for individuals with Alzheimers disease and related dementias and their families, particularly with respect to the design, delivery, staffing, and mix of such services and the coordination of such services with other services, and with respect to the relationship of formal to informal support services;
(D) the understanding of optimal methods to combine formal support services provided by health care professionals with informal support services provided by family, friends, and neighbors of individuals with Alzheimers disease, and the identification of ways family caregivers can be sustained through interventions to reduce psychological and social problems and physical problems induced by stress;
(E) existing data that are relevant to Alzheimers disease and related dementias; and
(F) the costs incurred in caring for individuals with Alzheimers disease and related dementias;
(12) it is imperative to provide appropriate coordination of the efforts of the Federal Government in the provision of services for individuals with Alzheimers disease and related dementias;
(13) it is important to increase the understanding of Alzheimers disease and related dementias by the diverse range of personnel involved in the care of individuals with such disease and dementias; and
(14) it is imperative that the Social Security Administration be provided information pertaining to Alzheimers disease and related dementias, particularly for personnel in such Administration involved in the establishment and updating of criteria for determining whether an individual is under a disability for purposes of titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 401 et seq., 1381 et seq.].