According to Generation Alzheimer’s, a new report released by the Alzheimer’s Association, one in eight baby boomers will develop Alzheimer’s, a devastating, heartbreaking, costly disease. It’s no longer their grandparents and parents who have Alzheimer’s – it’s the baby boomers themselves.
A rapidly aging population and dramatic increases in the number of Alzheimer cases in the coming years underscores the urgency in dealing with a crisis that is no longer emerging, but here.
Generation Alzheimer’s also describes the effect Alzheimer’s has on families and friends. Beyond the 10 million baby boomers who will either die with or from Alzheimer’s, millions of caregivers will be devastated, not only by the progressive loss of their loved one, but also by the care they will provide – care that could negatively affect their health, financial security and their future.
Most people survive an average of four to six years after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, but many live for as long as 20 years with the disease. This often long duration places increasingly intensive care demands on Alzheimer and dementia caregivers – as many as 11 million nationwide.
Alzheimer’s disease will also have a profound effect on our nation, killing more than diabetes and more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. According to preliminary data from National Center for Health Statistics, the number of Americans that die each year from Alzheimer’s disease has risen 66 percent since 2000. In 2010, Alzheimer’s and other dementia’s cost American society – families, insurers and the government – $172 billion; during the next 40 years it will cost more than $20 trillion, enough to pay of the national debt today and still send a $20,000 check to every man, woman and child in America.
Generation Alzheimer’s calls for a federal government committed to a thorough, aggressive and innovative approach to ending Alzheimer’s.
For more information about Generation Alzheimer’s, Alzheimer’s disease or resources to help, visit the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org.