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Weiss: New Report Says Alzheimer’s Disease Is Now Major Public Health Issue

Sunday, March 25, 2018

 

For the second consecutive year, total payments to care for individuals with Alzheimer’s or other dementias will surpass $277 billion, which includes an increase of nearly $20 billion from last year, according to data reported in the Alzheimer’s Association 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report recently released last Tuesday.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the annual report, first released in 2007, is a compilation of state and national specific statistics and information detailing the impact of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias on individuals, families, state and federal government and the nation’s health care system.

“This year’s report illuminates the growing cost and impact of Alzheimer’s on the nation’s health care system, and also points to the growing financial, physical and emotional toll on families facing this disease,” said Keith Fargo, Ph.D., director of scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer’s Association, in a statement. “Soaring prevalence, rising mortality rates and lack of an effective treatment all lead to enormous costs to society. Alzheimer’s is a burden that’s only going to get worse. We must continue to attack Alzheimer’s through a multidimensional approach that advances research while also improving support for people with the disease and their caregivers,” he said.

 Adds Fargo, “Discoveries in science mean fewer people are dying at an early age from heart disease, cancer and other diseases,” said Fargo. “Similar scientific breakthroughs are needed for Alzheimer’s disease, and will only be achieved by making it a national health care priority and increasing funding for research that can one day lead to early detection, better treatments and ultimately a cure.”

2018 Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures

New findings from the 88-page report on March 20, 2017 reveal the growing burden on 16.3 million caregivers providing 18.4 billion hours of care valued at over $ 232 billion to 5.7 million people with the devastating mental disorder.  By 2050, the report projects that the number of persons with Alzheimer’s and other dementias will rise to nearly 14 million, with the total cost of care skyrocketing to more than $1.1 trillion.

Between 2000 and 2015 deaths from health disease nationwide decreased by 11 percent but deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have increased by 123 percent, says the new data in the report, noting that one out of three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.  It even kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.  In Rhode Island in 2015, the number of deaths from Alzheimer’s disease was 453, making the devastating brain disorder the 5th leading cause of death in the state.     

 In 2017, 53,000 Rhode Island caregivers provided an estimated 61 million hours of unpaid physical and emotional care and financial support – a contribution to the nation valued at $768 million dollars. The difficulties associated with providing this level of care are estimated to have resulted in $45 million in additional healthcare costs for Alzheimer’s and other dementia caregivers in 2017.

State Updates Battle Plan Against Alzheimer’s Disease

 “The Alzheimer’s Association’s most recent report about Alzheimer’s Disease in Rhode Island illustrates the need to take swift action in updating our State Plan to ensure Rhode Island is prepared to provide the necessary resources to families, caregivers and patients who are struggling with the disease,” says Lt. Governor McKee, 

McKee adds that the updated State Plan will be a blueprint for how Rhode Island will continue to address the growing Alzheimer's crisis. “It will create the infrastructure necessary to build programs and services for the growing number of Rhode Islanders with the disease. The updated Plan will also outline steps the state must take to improve services for people with Alzheimer's and their families. After the update is complete, my Alzheimer’s Executive Board will seek legislative and regulatory changes to carry out the recommendations of the Plan and ensure that it is more than just a document,” he says.

"One of the many types of caregivers benefiting from AARP's caregiving advocacy in Rhode Island are family members who care for those with Alzheimer's," said AARP Rhode Island State Director Kathleen Connell. "They are among the army of 10 million wives, husbands, sons and daughters nationwide. The majority are women and according to researchers, especially when it comes to dementia and Alzheimer's care. Approximately 40 percent of those caregivers say they have no other options or choices, and a third say they provide care 24/7.

"The latest report indicates what we already know," Connell added. "This will continue to be rising challenge in Rhode Island as our population ages. The disease will place more stress on our Medicaid-funded nursing home capacity, which should make this a concern for taxpayers. There is a strong case for increasing research funding so that someday we may reverse the tide.

"Our Web site, www.aarp.org, provides abundant resources for these dedicated caregivers. AARP in states across the nation, including Rhode Island, have worked to pass legislation that provides paid respite for caregivers who have jobs as well as caregiving obligations. We have supported the Alzheimer's Association here in Rhode Island for many years and, last year, a small team of AARP volunteers participated in the Alzheimer's Walk. Joined by others, they are gearing up for this year's walk."

Increased Research Funding Needed Now

Donna McGowan, Alzheimer's Association, RI Chapter Executive Director, says that the 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report should send a very clear message that Alzheimer’s disease is an issue that policy makers cannot ignore. “This is an urgent public health crisis that must be addressed. Early detection and diagnosis of the disease leads to better planning, avoiding preventable hospitalizations, and over all a better quality of life for the patient and the caregiver,” says McGowan.

McGowan warns that the health care system is not ready to handle the increased cost and number of individuals expected to develop Alzheimer’s disease in the coming years. “With a vigorous National Plan in place to address the Alzheimer’s crisis, and annual budget guidance for Congress, it is essential that the federal government continue its commitment to the fight against Alzheimer’s by increasing funding for Alzheimer’s research,” adds McGowan.

Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline sees the need for increased funding for direct services for those afflicted with Alzheimer's disease.  He voted for H.R.1625, the omnibus spending bill that increases funding for the National Institute of Health's Alzheimer's research by $414 million. And two years ago, Cicilline worked to pass H.R.1559, "The HOPE for Alzheimer's Act," which President Obama signed into law to expand Medicare coverage for Alzheimer's treatment. 

If Cicilline succeeds to get the Republican-controlled Congress to have a vote on H.Res.160, his bill to reestablish the House Select Committee on Aging, it will allow House lawmakers to hear expert testimony and make new policy recommendations to improve the delivery of care to those afflicted with Alzheimer's and to assist caregivers, too.

For details, click here. 

 

Herb Weiss, LRI’12, is a Pawtucket writer covering aging, healthcare and medical issues. To purchase Taking Charge: Collected Stories on Aging Boldly, a collection of 79 of his weekly commentaries, go to herbweiss.com.

 

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#17

10 Babies Dead in RI in 26 Months, 2 New Near Deaths & Little Outrage

Twenty children were recently killed in Syria in a deadly gas attack. The images of the dead children sparked President Donald Trump to launch 59 Tomahawk missiles at a key military airport in response to the killings. Nearly 90 percent of Americans supported the American military response.

In Rhode Island, ten babies all under 18-months old, have died in the past 26 months, and at a recent State House hearing, it was disclosed by the state’s Child Advocate that two new “near deaths” are now under investigation. The disclosure was made during a House Finance sub-committee meeting in which most of the subcommittee's members were missing for the majority of the meeting.

For long segments during the sub-committee hearing, only Chair Teresa Tanzi was in attendance. This hearing was just the latest in a series that reviewed the deaths.

For those who have seen the recent legislative hearings reviewing the Child Advocate’s report, emotion and outrage have been void in the discussion. The dialogue between legislators reviewing the deaths with state bureaucrats often sounded more like the narrative between cartoon characters Chip ’n’ Dale — “after you, no-no, after you.”

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#16

Moses Brown Soccer Coach Says He Will Kneel During National Anthem

Moses Brown Boy's Varsity Soccer Coach Eric Aaronian announced that he will kneel during the national anthem at today's game versus Westerly High School, in an email sent to parents on Friday. 

Aaronian is also the chair of the Science Department Chair at the prep school located on Providence's East Side, where tuition for the day school is $35,555 for grades 9-12. 

The head of the RI Interscholastic Sports League Thomas Mezzanotte said that during the national anthem players and coaches are expected "to properly show respect during the playing of the National Anthem is to stand, remove your hat and place your hand over your heart."

"Much like other state high school associations we do not/have not released a statement relative to our position on what is occurring with the playing of the National Anthem.  However, when asked we share the following:
It is the sincere desire of the RIIL that all participants at an education based event demonstrate proper respect and attention during the presentation of the National Anthem while respecting the rights of individual freedoms of expressions," said Mezzanotte in an email to GoLocal on Saturday.

Aaronian is the latest to join the controversy that swept the sports and political world last weekend.

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#15

LIVE: Chafee Calls Out Raimondo Administration for “Candy Store” Economic Development Strategy

Lincoln Chafee, former Mayor, U.S. Senator and Governor, took Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo’s administration to task for promoting economic growth by funneling tax dollars to some of America’s richest corporations.

Appearing on GoLocal LIVE with GoLocal News Editor Kate Nagle, Chafee said the Raimondo’s transfer of taxpayers dollars to billion-dollar companies such as General Electric and Johnson & Johnson was flawed.

“I have never liked corporate welfare. It's unfair to existing businesses…some out of state business comes in and you give them the candy store. I just don’t like it," said Chafee.

Chafee said the approach needs to be built on fundamentals. “I think a better way to build the economy is through investment and education and infrastructure. Then lower taxes -- under my approach, unemployment went from over 11 percent to under 6 percent. (And) we created more jobs than the candy store approach.”

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#14

EXCLUSIVE: Former RI Speaker Fox to Be Released From Prison Next Week

Gordon Fox, the former Speaker of House, will be released from federal prison in Pennsylvania after twenty-five months, GoLocalProv.com has learned.

Fox left for Canaan Federal Facility in Waymart, Pennsylvania on July 7, 2015, and he returns to Rhode Island on Wednesday, August 16, 2017. His time was served at the minimum facility camp on the prison campus which presently has 121 inmates, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

He can be picked up in Pennsylvania as early as 8:00 A.M. and must report to his assigned half-way house by 8:00 P.M. 

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#13

Governor Raimondo’s Security Detail Tops More than $1.2 Million

Drive by Governor Gina Raimondo’s house on the East Side of Providence late at night, and outside each evening will be parked a Rhode Island State Trooper sitting in an unmarked SUV, or in a State Police vehicle.

Raimondo is the first Governor in Rhode Island to request 24-hour security coverage -- at more than $40,000 per month in security costs.  Under previous administrations, governors received 24-hour protection for limited periods of time. Governor Bruce Sundlun received full-time coverage after his administration closed the credit unions in 1991, during the banking crisis.  In addition, on a few occasions, Governor Donald Carcieri had round-the-clock coverage due to specific security threats.

However, no governor has had it 24/7 - until now.

A GoLocal investigation found that the taxpayer cost of providing security for Raimondo has totaled $1,269,431, since her taking office --from January 1, 2015, through June 24, 2017. 

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#12

AAA Refused to Pick Up Blind Woman Stranded with Service Dog

A legally blind Rhode Island woman said that she had to wait hours for AAA after they refused to pick her up with her guide dog -- before finally getting the roadside assistance organization to comply with federal disability law.

Aria Mia Loberti, a AAA member, posted the incident to Facebook on Monday, and urged people to contact AAA to advocate for people with service animals.  

Loberti's Post

Loberti posted the following to Facebook, on the incident:

"This evening, my mother (Audrey Loberti) kindly drove me to work, but unfortunately her car broke down en route. As a legally blind individual, I travel with a certified service animal, a Guide Dog for the Blind named Ingrid. Ingrid is a specially trained mobility aid who helps me safely navigate the world around me.

My mom called AAA roadside assistance, informed them of our situation, and that her fellow passenger (me) had a disability and was traveling with a licensed registered guide dog. AAA's dispatcher, per the direction of three of her supervisors, told us that a service animal could not accompany us in the tow truck, which accommodated two passengers. I spoke with the dispatcher and the supervisors, as did my mom, to inform them that it is in violation of US law and state law to refuse access or service to a service animal and their disabled handler. 

AAA offered us several arguments, including that a service dog would not fit inside the vehicle (see the photos below to prove that she, like all service dogs, is trained to do so), that a service dog would be a safety hazard for the driver, and more. They continually changed their story as to why they wouldn't accommodate us.

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#11

GoLocalProv Releases Benchmark Poll 

There were a number of surprises in the recently released poll conducted by Harvard's John Della Volpe in partnership with GoLocalProv.com.

The benchmark poll measured how Rhode Islanders feel about the economy, what they see as the most important issues, and how well they think their elected officials are performing.

The GoLocalProv.com Benchmark Poll was conducted by Socialsphere -- founded by Della Volpe. He is the Director of Polling at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. He is one of America's leading pollsters and appears on "Morning Joe" and "The Daily Show" with Trevor Noah to name a few. 

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#10

EXCLUSIVE: Hasbro Looking at Superman Building to Create Providence Campus

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Today, Hasbro calls itself “a global play and entertainment company committed to creating the world's best play experiences."

And, in an era in which the largest toy store chain in America, Toys “R” Us has recently filed for bankruptcy protection, Hasbro's ongoing shift to entertainment and gaming is strategically sound and Hasbro's stock has performed. The stock closed on Wednesday at $97.16 per share -- up more than 27 percent over the 52 week low of $76.14 a share.

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#9

GoLocal Secures Multiple Videos of ATV Gangs Doing Wheelies In Prov Neighborhoods and on 95

GoLocalProv has secured three videos shot by an ATV and motorbike gang as they rode through Providence neighborhoods, pulled wheelies, rolled through red lights, and did a “seat stander” wheelie on I-95 while traveling an estimated 75 plus mph.

And, in one case rode directly in front of Providence Police officers.

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#8

VIDEO: New Club Penthouse, Complete with Stripper Poles, Opens on Historic East Side

A new nightclub featuring dancers and stripper poles has opened in one of the most historic areas of Providence. The new club called, The Penthouse, is located in the space above the Mile and a Quarter restaurant which was previously occupied by the controversial Loft club.

The new club is located close to one of Providence’s top Italian restaurants, Bacaro, right next to upscale realtor Lila Delman, and literally across the street from the new innovation center I-195 corridor.

The historic building is owned by a company controlled by Andrew Mitrelis. He and his family also own Cafe Paragon, Andreas, and the now-closed Mile and a Quarter.

In 2015, the Rhode Island Department of Labor fined the restaurants $135,000 for failure to make payment to workers.

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What Killed WBRU?

On August 1, 1981, MTV began broadcasting and the first music video the new network played was "Video Killed The Radio Star” by The Buggles.

Now, as the autopsy is being done on WBRU, the appropriate mantra might be that the Internet killed the radio star, or as Bruce McCrae, aka Rudy Cheeks told GoLocal LIVE on Thursday, “I had predicted this some time ago [about the death of radio]. TV is soon going to be the Internet. Younger people who are the basic consumers of alternative rock music -- and alternative journalism -- are internet oriented.”

“It's not that complicated -- it was a business decision based upon the best interests of the university and its students. In the best of all situations, they'd have the funds to do everything they want to do now,” said Michael Harrison, one of America’s top analysts of radio and publisher of Talker’s magazine.

The new 95.5 signal owner, Education Media Foundation, is a Christian radio broadcasting group that reported assets of more than half-a-billion dollars according to the company's audited financials for 2016.

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#6

INVESTIGATION: Complex Web of Private Political Consulting Business Runs Through Raimondo’s Office

In 2017, companies that Governor Gina Raimondo’s Chief of Staff Brett Smiley owns received payments from many prominent Democrats, including payment from one of the House Democratic Leadership PACs and a $2,030 payment from then-federal inmate and former Rhode Island Speaker of the House Gordon Fox. 

Smiley earns $176,419 as Raimondo's Chief of Staff. 

Over the past five years, Rhode Island state and local candidates have paid a web of Smiley-owned companies just under $300,000. Federal candidates both in Rhode Island and around the country have paid Smiley’s firm's hundreds of thousands in additional payments. 

“Smiley's continued ownership of the firm raises the questions that have yet to be answered. In the past we've told GoLocal that Common Cause believes Smiley should seek an advisory opinion from the Rhode Island Ethics Commission with respect to his continued ownership of the consulting firm,” said John Marion, head of Rhode Island Common Cause.

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#5

VIDEO: U.S. Senator Whitehouse Won’t Quit All-White Exclusive Private Club

GoLocalProv.com News Editor Kate Nagle finally caught up with U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) to ask him about his family’s membership in the exclusive and all-white Bailey’s Beach Club.

In 2006, when Whitehouse ran for the United States Senate, he reportedly promised to quit his memberships in Bailey's, as well as the all-male, all-white Bellevue Avenue Reading Room. 

However, eleven years later, a GoLocal investigation has uncovered that Whitehouse has consolidated his ownership with his wife in Bailey's, one of America’s oldest and most exclusive beach clubs.

Whitehouse has been one of the harshest critics of the Administration of President Donald Trump and Trump’s unwillingness to condemn hate groups and bigotry.

After weeks of refusing to answer GoLocal’s questions about his membership in Bailey’s — Nagle caught up with Whitehouse attending an event in Newport. 

“I think it would be nice if they (Bailey’s Beach Club) changed a little bit, but it's not my position,” Whitehouse told Nagle.

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#4

Raimondo’s UHIP Disaster - Federal Court Takes Over Management

For the past year, the Rhode Island ACLU has been pressing Governor Gina Raimondo’s administration to correct the failed process for Rhode Island’s most in need to apply for and receive food stamps.

The Raimondo administration has given every possible reaction to criticism that the system failed to function.

When the UHIP platform launched and it was clear that the system did not function, Raimondo defended the botched rollout in the fall of 2016, saying in an interview on talk radio that even Apple has problems when they roll out a new phone.

Now, after a year of failure and promises of improvement, and more failure, Federal Court Judge Will Smith has determined that the Raimondo administration is incapable of managing the project.

Rhode Island ACLU Executive Director Steve Brown spoke to the most recent development in addressing the state's UHIP debacle -- the announcement of a court-appointed special master to intervene.

The Raimondo administration recently boasted of recovering $60 million from vendor Deloitte -- but Brown took issue with the announcement. 

"What was troubling about the news release bragging about getting all the money, was buried in the release was the thousands of buried applications. And it was troubling,” said Brown.

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#3

Raimondo Agrees to GoLocal’s Demands, Pledges to Release State Police Records on 38 Studios

In October, GoLocal filed suit against Governor Gina Raimondo, the Head of Public Safety and the RI State Police requesting the release of the State Police records of interviews in the 38 Studios criminal investigation. 

GoLocal’s lawsuit against Raimondo and others was set for hearing at the end of the month.

Raimondo petitioned the court to have the suit dismissed claiming she was not in possession of the documents.

Today, a press release issued by Raimondo's office Friday says, "...Rhode Island State Police Colonel Ann Assumpico has directed her agency to review and release the non-grand jury documents in the agency's possession. Those documents will be released as soon as a review is complete."

She also claimed that she "will file a petition in Rhode Island Superior Court early next week to release the documents from the grand jury investigation."

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#2

EXCLUSIVE: St. Joseph Pension Fund Collapse - Largest in RI History

The St. Joseph Health Services pension fund filed for bankruptcy last Thursday in Superior Court and has thrown the lives of nearly 3,800 former and existing workers economic futures into turmoil.

GoLocal has broken down the key issues as they are now emerging - this pension fund bankruptcy may be the biggest in Rhode Island history.

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#1

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Police Shooting in Providence Caught on Camera

GoLocalProv has obtained video of the shooting that took place on I-95 outside of the Providence Place Mall where at least one person is dead, according to Providence Police sources. ​

Names of the officers involved in the shooting have not been released by Providence Police or RI State Police.

There is an ongoing investigation relating to the incident.

SEE THE VIDEO HERE

 
 

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