Lately, Alzheimer’s research has been getting plenty of attention and funding. Funders ranging from Bill Gates to the Alzheimer’s Association have committed millions to dementia.
And just this month, Congress tripled the National Institute of Health’s annual budget for Alzheimer’s research, raising it to $1.9 billion. The growth spurt isn’t over: Two draft 2019 spending bills for the NIH would bring the total to $2.3 billion – more than 5 percent of NIH’s overall budget. But there’s more to Alzheimer’s than the still-elusive search for an effective treatment.
While there have been stalwart funders of direct services for Alzheimer’s – most notably the John A. Hartford Foundation, Archstone Foundation, Gary and Mary West Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Association – few focus on the caregiving side of the equation. Now, though, more groups are stepping up to address these needs.
The Merck Foundation is backing two new programs to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable individuals living with Alzheimer’s, and their caregivers. With a focus on underserved rural and urban populations in New England and Minnesota, these programs are part of the foundation’s $5 million effort to reduce disparities in Alzheimer’s-related care.