New Alzheimer’s Association Report Shows Growing Cost and Impact of Alzheimer’s Disease on Nation’s Families and Economy
Media Release – CHICAGO, March 7, 2017 – Extract
- Total annual payments for Alzheimer’s care surpass a quarter of a trillion dollars
- Deaths from Alzheimer’s increase dramatically while deaths from other major causes decrease
- Strain of providing Alzheimer’s care harms caregivers’ mental and physical health
For the first time, total payments exceeded a quarter of a trillion dollars ($259 billion) for caring for individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, according to data reported in the 2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, released today by the Alzheimer’s Association. The report also includes new research on the disease’s impact on caregivers, such as family members.
“This report details the physical and mental damage many people experience when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s,” said Beth Kallmyer, MSW, Vice President of Constituent Services for the Alzheimer’s Association. “It also reveals how this burden disproportionately affects women, who tend to spend more time caregiving, take on more caregiving tasks and care for individuals with more cognitive, functional and behavioral problems.”
More than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care in the form of physical, emotional and financial support for the estimated 5.5 million Americans of all ages living with Alzheimer’s dementia. In 2016, Alzheimer’s caregivers provided an estimated 18.2 billion hours of unpaid care – a contribution to the nation valued at $230.1 billion.
The Facts and Figures report illustrates that the strain of caregiving produces serious physical and mental health consequences. For instance, more than one out of three (35 percent) caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia report that their health has gotten worse due to care responsibilities, compared with one out of five (19 percent) caregivers for older people without dementia. Also, depression and anxiety are more common among dementia caregivers than among people providing care for individuals with certain other conditions.
“As the number of people with Alzheimer’s continues to grow, so do the impact and cost of providing care,” said Kallmyer. “While we’ve seen recent increases in federal research funding and access to critical care planning and support services, there’s still an urgent need to support research that can bring us closer to effective treatment options and, ultimately, a cure.”
SOURCE: Alzheimer’s Association. “2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures.” Alzheimer’s Association, 7 March 2017
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