alzheimer’s disease

The Alzheimer’s Association recently released updated Facts and Figures, with emphasis on the disease’s effect on families and caregivers. The 2016 edition includes a special report of the financial impact of Alzheimer’s on families.

Other highlights from the report include:

Prevalence

  • More and more Americans – 5.4 million in 2016 – are living with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • By 2050, that number may rise to 13.8 million.

Mortality

  • Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
  • 700,000 deaths from Alzheimer’s are projected in 2016.
  • Fatalities from the disease have increased by 71 percent in the last decade.

Caregivers

  • Family and friends offered 18.1 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s last year.
  • Women represent two-thirds of caregivers.
  • Caregiving’s a tough job – nearly 60 percent of Alzheimer’s caregivers rated their stress level as high or very high.

Cost to Nation

  • In 2016, the total Alzheimer’s-related cost to healthcare is an estimated $236 billion.
  • Nearly one in every five Medicare dollars goes to people with Alzheimer’s.

Special Report: Financial Impact on Families

  • Caregiving families are 28 percent more likely than other Americans to eat less or go hungry to pay for care.

The Alzheimer’s Association offers suggestions for care contributors in families. Among them are:

  • Consider the cost of long-term medical care when planning for retirement.
  • Conduct an inventory of financial resources.
  • Learn what Medicare and Medicaid cover.
  • Ask your employer what programs and benefits are available.
  • Investigate local long-term care services and your area Agency on Aging.

You can read the full report here. For a quick summary, you can also access an infographic on the site.

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