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letters 1/5

January 05, 2001

Letters to the Editor 1/5



A recognition of impact and care



To the editor:

Alzheimer's disease programs and research fared well in the federal budget process, according to a review of the budget passed by Congress on Dec. 15.

As members of the Western Maryland chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, we believe the budget is a bipartisan recognition of the significant impact Alzheimer's disease has on families. This legislation will provide important building blocks for the new administration in its ability to tackle the growing threat the disease will cause to our nation's health care system.

The key legislative victories include:

- A provision to clarify Medicare's definition of "homebound" to allow beneficiaries to attend adult day care. This change was one of the association's top priorities, because research has found adult day care is a successful therapeutic treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other dementia.

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Under the old rules, a beneficiary with Alzheimer's disease who left home to attend adult day care failed to meet the "homebound" test and was thus denied the home health benefits to which they were otherwise entitled.

- A 14 percent increase in funding for Alzheimer's research, bringing spending on such research to more than $500 million in fiscal year 2001. The appropriations bill also contained $9 million for demonstration grants, to get states to develop innovative services targeting people with Alzheimer's.

- Full funding of the Caregiver Support Program, at $125 million. This new program will provide money for a number of community-based programs, including respite care, adult day care, counseling services and caregiver training.

- $900,000 for the Alzheimer's Association Safe Return Program, a nationwide identification program that assists in the safe return of individuals with Alzheimer's or related dementia who wander and become lost.

The Alzheimer's Association is the premier source of information for the 4 million Americans with Alzheimer's disease. Through its national network of chapters, it offers a broad range of programs and services for people with the disease, their families and caregivers and represents their interests on issues related to the disease before federal, state and local governments and with health and long-term care providers. The largest private funder of Alzheimer's research, the association has committed more than $100 million toward research into the causes, treatment, prevention and cure of Alzheimer's.

Barbara Pilgram

Executive Director

Western Maryland Chapter

Alzheimer's Association

Hagerstown

Funkstown roars, slays the giant



To the editor:

In the '60's there was a movie, "The Mouse that Roared." And in the '60's there was the saying, "Power to the people."

Can it really be? Do I believe my eyes? Are we in a time warp? I read the Dec. 14 article "Wal-Mart proposal defeated," and just prior to that the article about how the entire town of Funkstown has been placed on the national Historic Register.

And I can only say Funkstown is the town that roared, the town with power to the people, the town that beat Wal-Mart when there have only been two other towns in the entire United States that have ever done this, one in Virginia and one in Vermont.

Some said that once the Wal-Mart Supercenter was built, a Sam's Club would follow right behind since they are usually side by side, one after the other, and there was extra acreage in the site outside Funkstown. The old saying is that once the camel has his nose under the tent. . . .

So kudos and plaudits to the little people, the common man who struggled to keep the nature of his historic town undefiled. Kudos to the commissioners who decided to allow no exceptions to the zoning designation. And let it be said that no matter what the recent presidential election showed with the hundred-million-dollar bankrolls, the voice of the people can still outweigh money and power and connections.

Douglas Scott Arey

MCIH #130196 A-1-A-20

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