Sinema Highlights City of Tempe’s Leadership in Caring for Alzheimer’s Patients and Their Families

Apr 2, 2019

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema today spoke at the Senate Aging Committee hearing on new developments in Alzheimer’s research and caregiving. Sinema highlighted the work of Tempe, Arizona Mayor Mark Mitchell in making the City of Tempe Arizona’s first Alzheimer’s and dementia-friendly city. 
“There are currently 140,000 Arizonans over the age of 65 living with Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to increase by 43 percent by 2025. That’s why the City of Tempe is leading the way to help address the toll Alzheimer’s can have on patients and caregivers. The message Tempe is sending to Alzheimer’s patients and their loved ones is that they are not alone, and we can and must do more,” said Sinema, a member of the Senate Aging Committee.
“One of the major aspects of Alzheimer’s and dementia that isn’t often talked is the impact of this disease on the physical and mental health of the caregivers who take care of a loved one with the disease. This has an exponential effect on the number of people negatively impacted by dementia,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “This is why we’ve been busy building a supportive community that is educated, aware and ready to help others in need. With Arizona set to experience the second highest increase in the nation of people living with dementia over the next 10 years, we need to be prepared and that starts with increasing dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease awareness, education and services now.”
Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell’s mother, Marianne, has been living with Alzheimer’s for more than a decade. Mitchell’s father, Harry, devoted himself to caregiving, but his family saw the impact Alzheimer’s was having on both Marianne, who required progressively greater levels of care, and on Harry as her primary caregiver. Mayor Mitchell decided to do more. Partnering with the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, he has made Tempe into Arizona’s first Alzheimer’s and dementia-friendly city. With the goal of creating a safe, livable community for people with dementia, Tempe has trained thousands of volunteers and first responders to recognize and respond to dementia sufferers out in the community.