Apr 6 2016

During today’s Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) discussed the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease, and shared his own personal experience as a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.
“I met with the North Carolina delegation [from the Alzheimer’s Association] earlier this morning, and I was happy to see them, because this is something that I first got introduced to back in 1988 with my own grandmother. There are very few opportunities where the head and the heart align in areas of public policy in such a compelling way,” said Senator Tillis. “Clearly, if you’ve been touched by someone who has had Alzheimer’s, you know the personal drain that is has. I was a caregiver along with my mother and my two aunts for my grandmother, and I tried to educate myself so we could become better caregivers. Our instincts for providing care are almost the opposite of what we really need to do to provide care that is in the best interest of the person suffering from Alzheimer’s. So we have to spend far more resources today until we can find a cure and try to provide the support and education that the caregivers need so we can enrich their lives and they’re in a better position to enrich the lives of people who are suffering from Alzheimer’s.”
WATCH: Senator Tillis shares his experience as a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease and stresses the importance of providing caregivers with support and education. 
“As we proceed to a treatment and cure for this disease, it will let us accelerate the pace for diseases that do not necessarily have as broad of an impact. We can save lives, we can save heartbreak, and we can save money. I can’t imagine a more compelling case for focusing on a cure and accelerating more sophisticated, broader-based options for caregivers,” said Senator Tillis. “My office is wide open to looking for those opportunities to help us free up even resources that are already invested, but are not being invested for their most productive use.”
WATCH: Senator Tillis notes that investing resources to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease can save lives and money.
Last month, Senator Tillis joined Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to introduce Kevin and Avonte’s Law, which will help families locate missing loved ones who have Alzheimer’s disease, autism or other related conditions that may cause them to wander away from their caregivers. Last year, Senator Tillis co-sponsored the Ensuring Useful Research Expenditures is Key for Alzheimer’s (EUREKA) Act, which creates prized-based incentives to encourage more public-private collaboration in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.