Families across this nation understand that Alzheimer’s disease is not only devastating but also fatal. Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S., and unlike any other cause of death among the top 10, there’s no way to prevent, stop or even slow its progression.

Nearly one in every five Medicare dollars is spent on people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. These costs will continue to increase as baby boomers age, soaring to more than $1 trillion in 2050.

As an Alzheimer’s Association advocate, I am very grateful to Sen. Angus King for his continued support on Alzheimer’s issues, including signing on to the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act.

The Senate Labor-Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee has just approved a $400 million increase in Alzheimer’s research funding for fiscal year 2017. I urge Sen. King to support this funding and to encourage his peers to join him.

My family has witnessed firsthand how dementia destroys a person’s brain by making them lose their ability to function and leading them to an early death. We want what happened to our mother to be prevented for individuals and families in the future.

During Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month in June, go purple to raise awareness about this cause. Get ideas about going purple and learn more about how the Alzheimer’s Association needs your help to uncover the truth about Alzheimer’s disease at alz.org/abam.

Cathy Walters

Hollis Center