MORE THAN 5 MILLION AMERICANS ARE LIVING WITH ALZHEIMER'S. BY 2050, THIS NUMBER IS PROJECTED TO RISE TO NEARLY 14 MILLION.
ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE IS THE 6TH LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN THE UNITED STATES.
1 IN 3 SENIORS DIES WITH ALZHEIMER'S OR ANOTHER DEMENTIA. IT KILLS MORE THAN BREAST CANCER AND PROSTATE CANCER COMBINED.
IN 2020, ALZHEIMER'S AND OTHER DEMENTIAS WILL COST THE NATION $305 BILLION. BY 2050, THESE COSTS COULD RISE AS HIGH AS $1.1 TRILLION.
MORE THAN 16 MILLION AMERICANS PROVIDE UNPAID CARE FOR PEOPLE WITH ALZHEIMER'S OR OTHER DEMENTIAS.
THESE CAREGIVERS PROVIDED AN ESTIMATED 18.6 BILLION HOURS OF CARE VALUED AT NEARLY $244 BILLION.
82% OF PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIANS SAY THEY ARE ON THE FRONT LINES OF PROVIDING DEMENTIA CARE.
50% OF PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIANS BELIEVE THAT THE MEDICAL PROFESSION IS NOT READY FOR THE GROWING NUMBER OF PEOPLE WITH ALZHEIMER'S OR OTHER DEMENTIAS.
BETWEEN 2000 AND 2018, DEATHS FROM HEART DISEASE HAVE DECREASED 7.8% WHILE DEATHS FROM ALZHEIMER'S HAVE INCREASED 146%.
The number of Americans living with Alzheimer's is growing — and growing fast. More than 5 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer's.
An estimated 5.8 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer's dementia in 2020. Eighty percent are age 75 or older.
- One in 10 people age 65 and older (10%) has Alzheimer's dementia.
- Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer's are women.
- Older African-Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer's or other dementias as older whites.
- Hispanics are about one and one-half times as likely to have Alzheimer's or other dementias as older whites.
As the number of older Americans grows rapidly, so too will the number of new and existing cases of Alzheimer's. By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s dementia may grow to a projected 13.8 million, barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or cure Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s is not just memory loss. Alzheimer’s kills.
- Alzheimer's disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.
- Alzheimer’s is the fifth-leading cause of death among those age 65 and older and is also is a leading cause of disability and poor health.
- Although deaths from other major causes have decreased significantly, official records indicate that deaths from Alzheimer's disease have increased significantly. Between 2000 and 2018, the number of deaths from Alzheimer's disease as recorded on death certificates has more than doubled, increasing 146%, while the number of deaths from the number one cause of death (heart disease) decreased 7.8%.
- Among people age 70, 61% of those with Alzheimer's dementia are expected to die before the age of 80 compared with 30% of people without Alzheimer's — a rate twice as high.
People age 65 and older survive an average of 4 to 8 years after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s dementia, yet some live as long as 20 years with Alzheimer’s. This reflects the slow, uncertain progression of the disease.
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Eighty-three percent of the help provided to older adults in the United States comes from family members, friends or other unpaid caregivers. Nearly half of all caregivers who provide help to older adults do so for someone living with Alzheimer's or another dementia.
Who are the caregivers?
- About one in three caregivers (30%) is age 65 or older.
- Approximately two-thirds of caregivers are women; more specifically, over one-third of dementia caregivers are daughters.
- Most caregivers (66%) live with the person with dementia in the community.
- Approximately one-quarter of dementia caregivers are "sandwich generation" caregivers — meaning that they care not only for an aging parent, but also for children under age 18.
Alzheimer's takes a devastating toll on caregivers. Compared with caregivers of people without dementia, twice as many caregivers of those with dementia indicate substantial emotional, financial and physical difficulties.
Of the total lifetime cost of caring for someone with dementia, 70% is borne by families — either through out-of-pocket health and long-term care expenses or from the value of unpaid care.
Caring for someone with Alzheimer's?
Cost to Nation
The costs of health care and long-term care for individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias are substantial, and dementia is one of the costliest conditions to society.
In 2020, Alzheimer's and other dementias will cost the nation $305 billion, including $206 billion in Medicare and Medicaid payments. Unless a treatment to slow, stop or prevent the disease is developed, in 2050, Alzheimer's is projected to cost more than $1.1 trillion (in 2020 dollars). This dramatic rise includes more than four-fold increases both in government spending under Medicare and Medicaid and in out-of-pocket spending.
- People living with Alzheimer's or other dementias have twice as many hospital stays per year as other older people.
- Medicare beneficiaries with Alzheimer's or other dementias are more likely than those without dementia to have other chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.
- Older people living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias have more skilled nursing facility stays and home health care visits per year than other older people.
- People living with Alzheimer's or other dementias make up a large proportion of all elderly people who receive adult day services and nursing home care.
Special Report: Primary Care Physicians and Alzheimer's Care in America
"On the Front Lines: Primary Care Physicians and Alzheimer's Care in America" underscores the urgent need to develop the medical workforce to meet current and future demands for quality diagnosis and care of people living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Current and projected future shortages in specialist care — geriatricians, neurologists, geriatric psychiatrists and neuropsychologists — place the burden of the vast majority of patient care on PCPs.
PCPs recognize that they are on the front lines of this crisis and feel a duty to provide the highest quality care. However, they report that the medical profession is not prepared to adequately face the problem, acknowledge that there is a shortage of specialists to receive patient referrals, and note that their training opportunities are lacking or difficult to access.
While this Alzheimer's Association dementia care analysis and surveys should sound an alarm regarding the future of dementia care in America, the Special Report proposes several solutions:
- Scholarship and loan forgiveness programs offered by the federal and state governments, which are correlated with increasing the number of physicians practicing in rural areas and directly influence the decision of osteopathic medical graduates to become primary care physicians.
- Educational funding, such as federal funding of departments of family medicine at U.S. medical schools.
- In addition to policies that strengthen the specialty workforce, federal and state support is needed for programs that build capacity in primary care, such as tele-monitoring programs for health care providers.
- Expand collaborative and coordinated care programs, which rely heavily on non-specialists.
Worried about memory loss?
Alzheimer’s in Each State
The 2020 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report contains data on the impact of this disease in every state across the nation. Click below to see the effect that Alzheimer's is having in your state.