ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE IS THE 6TH LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN THE UNITED STATES.
MORE THAN 16 MILLION AMERICANS PROVIDE UNPAID CARE FOR PEOPLE WITH ALZHEIMER'S OR OTHER DEMENTIAS.
THESE CAREGIVERS PROVIDED AN ESTIMATED 18.5 BILLION HOURS OF CARE VALUED AT NEARLY $234 BILLION.
BETWEEN 2000 AND 2017 DEATHS FROM HEART DISEASE HAVE DECREASED 9% WHILE DEATHS FROM ALZHEIMER'S HAVE INCREASED 145%.
1 IN 3 SENIORS DIES WITH ALZHEIMER'S OR ANOTHER DEMENTIA. IT KILLS MORE THAN BREAST CANCER AND PROSTATE CANCER COMBINED.
ONLY 16% OF SENIORS RECEIVE REGULAR COGNITIVE ASSESSMENTS DURING ROUTINE HEALTH CHECK-UPS.
IN 2019, ALZHEIMER'S AND OTHER DEMENTIAS WILL COST THE NATION $290 BILLION. BY 2050, THESE COSTS COULD RISE AS HIGH AS $1.1 TRILLION.
5.8 MILLION AMERICANS ARE LIVING WITH ALZHEIMER'S. BY 2050, THIS NUMBER IS PROJECTED TO RISE TO NEARLY 14 MILLION.
Every 65 SECONDS SOMEONE IN THE UNITED STATES DEVELOPS THE DISEASE.
The number of Americans living with Alzheimer's is growing — and growing fast. An estimated 5.8 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer's.
An estimated 5.8 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer's dementia in 2019. This number includes an estimated 5.6 million people age 65 and older and approximately 200,000 individuals under age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer's.
- One in 10 people age 65 and older (10 percent) 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 2017, the number of deaths from Alzheimer’s disease as recorded on death certificates has more than doubled, increasing 145 percent, while the number of deaths from the number one cause of death (heart disease) decreased 9 percent.
- Among people age 70, 61 percent of those with Alzheimer's dementia are expected to die before the age of 80 compared with 30 percent 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 (34 percent) 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 percent) 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 percent 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 2019, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation $290 billion, including $195 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 2019 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: Alzheimer’s Detection in the Primary Care Setting
Despite significant challenges to improving brief cognitive assessments in the primary care setting, there are a number of encouraging signs that the United States is moving toward better and more numerous assessments, and better awareness of cognitive decline.
The Alzheimer’s Association Primary Care Physician and Consumer Cognitive Assessment Surveys provide a clear picture of the state of cognitive assessment in the primary care setting. Despite seniors’ and primary care physicians’ widespread awareness of the benefits of early detection and widely held beliefs that regular cognitive assessments are important, just half of seniors are being assessed, and only one in seven (16 percent) is receiving regular assessments.
The surveys highlight a number of educational opportunities for seniors and primary care physicians alike that have the potential to lead to the better use of brief cognitive assessments and the greater detection and diagnosis of cognitive impairment and dementia that are so urgently needed.
The surveys also reveal there is a strong foundation of knowledge on which to build toward better cognitive assessment:
- Primary care physicians are asking for information about how to better conduct assessments, demonstrating a desire for improvement.
- Primary care physicians who have been in practice for fewer than 25 years are conducting more brief cognitive assessments and placing more importance on them than their older counterparts, suggesting that the future will see improved early detection of cognitive decline.
- As awareness and use of the Medicare Annual Wellness Visits, and the new care planning benefit grows, it will become progressively more common to regularly assess the cognition of older adults.
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