The recently released Alzheimer’s Association 2012 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report says that caring for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the United States an estimated $200 billion in 2012. This includes $140 billion paid by Medicare and Medicaid.
In addition, Medicare payments for an older person with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are nearly three times higher and Medicaid payments are 19 times higher than for seniors without these conditions. These costs will only continue to soar in the coming years given the projected rapidly escalating prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease as the baby boomers age.
The facts outlined in the report also underscore the need for investment in research. While the estimated costs of Alzheimer’s to the country are $200 billion, only one percent of this, $2 billion, is what scientists say is needed to make significant inroads in Alzheimer’s research that can begin to solve the crisis. To learn more about the information released in Facts and Figures, visit alz.org to watch a video summarizing the report.
Facts and Figures also includes a special section focusing on individuals living alone with Alzheimer’s. While Alzheimer’s imposes profound challenges on individuals and their families, for the one out of seven individuals with Alzheimer’s who live alone these challenges are even more formidable. An estimated 800,000 individuals have Alzheimer’s and live alone, and up to half of these individuals do not have an identifiable caregiver.
The Alzheimer’s Association provides a wealth of resources, programs and materials to assist individuals who live alone and their families, including:
Helpline: Available 24/7, this free call center (800.272.3900) offers information and support from master’s level clinicians.
Care consultations: The Alzheimer’s Association offers care consultations to individuals and their families living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Care planning is essential to provide those with the disease information about medical and non-medical options for treatment and support services.
ALZConnected: ALZConnected, powered by the Alzheimer’s Association, is the first dedicated online social networking community for anyone affected by Alzheimer’s disease; it provides a safe place for people to connect with others in similar situations 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at no charge.
For more information and resources to support those living alone with Alzheimer’s, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website at alz.org.
5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. One in eight older Americans has Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. Learn the numbers. Spread awareness by watching this video from the Alzheimer’s Association and posting it on your favorite social media space. Watch the video here.