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Alzheimer’s Disease Incidence and Costs Continue to Soar

The latest statistics on Alzheimer’s disease are in—and they’re staggering.

According to the recently released 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures from the Alzheimer’s Association, another person in the U.S. will develop the neurological disorder every 66 seconds. More than 5 million Americans are already living with Alzheimer’s—and nearly two out of three people incorrectly believe that Medicare might help pay for nursing home care.

Alzheimer’s disease poses a serious threat to individual family—and national—resources, highlighting the need for ongoing research, education, advocacy, awareness and planning ahead both legally and financially.

  • In 2015, according to the report, 15.9 million caregivers provided roughly 18.1 billion hours of unpaid care, worth some $221.3 billion. About two thirds of those caregivers are women, 34 percent are age 65 or older.
  • This year, Alzheimer’s and other dementias are estimated to cost the country $236 billion in healthcare, long-term care and hospice services.
  • Family caregivers spend in excess of $5,000 each year caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, and when factoring in reduced hours or jobs given up to do so, those who contribute to care lose more than $15,000 annually. In addition, more than 40 percent of caregivers have a household income of $50,000 or less.

Worst of all, the Alzheimer’s Association states, these figures are expected to increase rapidly as the large Baby Boomer generation continues to age. At current, according to the report, nearly one in every five Medicare dollars is spent on people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and in 2050, it will be one in every three.

One in nine people aged 65 or older already have Alzheimer’s disease; by 2050, it’s estimated that another person will develop it every 33 seconds.

Alzheimer’s continues to be the only disease among the top 10 causes of death in America that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. Without targeted action, the crisis looms even larger.

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2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures: http://www.alz.org/facts/?utm_source=DM&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=FY16-FactsFig