2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures were just released. When you open this link, I recommend the brief video (also posted below). Additional information is presented quickly and accessibly.
Between 2000 and 2013, the incidence of heart attacks, cancer, and other diseases fell, while the incidence of AD increased by 71%!
Prepare for the Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) epidemic. It’s coming.
In 2014, friends and family of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias provided an estimated 17.9 billion hours of unpaid care, a contribution to the nation valued at $217.7 billion. This is approximately 46 percent of the net value of Walmart sales in 2013 and nearly eight times the total revenue of McDonald’s in 2013.
- Approximately two-thirds of caregivers are women and 34 percent are age 65 or older.
- Forty-one percent of caregivers have a household income of $50,000 or less.
- Over half of primary caregivers of people with dementia take care of parents.
- It is estimated that 250,000 children and young adults between ages 8 and 18 provide help to someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia.
Alzheimer’s takes a devastating toll on caregivers. Nearly 60 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high; about 40 percent suffer from depression. Due to the physical and emotional toll of caregiving, Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers had $9.7 billion in additional health care costs of their own in 2014.
If you want to read an article that makes the physical and emotional costs of caregiving real, read “Caring for Alzheimer’s: How Three Families Cope” from this week’s Wall Street Journal.
My advice for middle- and upper middle-class Americans is to prepare now, with long-term care insurance (LTCi), while you can qualify and find reasonable rates.