Katie Macklin, Delaware executive director of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, told federal retirees that Alzheimer’s disease is “an epidemic - the most under-recognized public health crisis of the 21st century.” She said the costs of the disease involve more than just those for treatment of patients, 26,000 of whom are in Delaware. “The toll Alzheimer’s takes on caregivers is a burden financially, physically and emotionally,” she said.
Macklin was the luncheon speaker at the January meeting of the Coastal Sussex Chapter of National Active and Retired Federal Employees, held at 1776 Steakhouse, Rehoboth.
The local Sussex Chapter 1690 is part of NARFE, a national organization that represents federal employees, retirees, and annuitants; promotes their general welfare; and provides advice and advocacy services with respect to their rights and benefits under federal and state retirement laws and regulations. Any federal retirees interested in joining the Sussex chapter should email Ron or Carol Weber at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Macklin said her association provides programs for research, family support, education and advocacy. She particularly encouraged any person caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease to use the toll-free 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900 for information, advice or the opportunity to talk with a professional at any time of day or night.
Macklin praised the national NARFE organization for having raised $10 million for the NARFE Alzheimer’s Fund. In 2013, the Coastal Sussex Chapter raised $11,000 for Alzheimer’s research.