Nearly 15 million Americans are now caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease or another form of dementia, an increase of 37 percent over the number at this time last year, according to a significant new report released by the Alzheimer’s Association. The rapid increase — both in the number of family caregivers and in the number of cases of Alzheimer’s diagnosed in the U.S. — is a consequence of our rapidly aging population. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.4 million Americans are now living with Alzheimer’s, and every 69 seconds someone in the U.S. now develops Alzheimer’s, which is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S., and the only one among the top 10 causes of death that cannot yet be prevented, cured or even slowed.
The National Alzheimer’s Association, a non-profit organization which is the largest private nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research, has just released the new 2011 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, a comprehensive and significant 68 page report on all aspects of Alzheimer’s. It includes information on what it is, its symptoms and diagnosis, current statistics on its prevalence, geographic and age-related occurrence and distribution of Alzheimer’s in each of the fifty U.S. States, and statistics on the numbers of Americans who are unpaid family caregivers for loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s and other dementias, the enormous toll on these family caregivers, as well as the micro and macro economic costs involved.
See pages 16 et. seq. of the 2011 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures for more detailed information on family caregivers for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
Here are examples of other statistics contained in the report:
- If the nearly 15 million Americans currently caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or another dementia all lived in a single State, it would be the fifth largest state in the U.S.
- In 2010, these family caregivers provided 17 Billion hours of unpaid care, a contribution valued at more than $202 Billion
- Sixty percent of these family caregivers were women, and most were older than 55.
- Sixty-one percent of family caregivers reported experiencing high to very high emotional stress, and 33 percent had symptoms of depression. Nearly 60 percent said they also dealt with significant physical stress.
- Alzheimer’s costs the Nation 183 Billion Dollars Annually
- Since the year 2000, death rates from other major diseases — including heart disease, stroke, and HIV — all dropped, while deaths from Alzheimer’s have risen 66%
- Every 69 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s, and the numbers are rising, as our population ages.
The Alzheimer’s Association has termed the spread of Alzheimer’s an epidemic facing the U.S. as our population ages. “We are in the early stages of an epidemic,” said Bill Thies, the association’s chief medical and scientific officer, as quoted in an article by Reuters. “It is only going to get worse over the next four years, and these costs are going to continue to grow.”
See this Video by the Alzheimer’s Association, dramatizing some of the key statistics:
Visit The Alzheimer’s Association for more information.
See also, an article by US News and World Report.
For more information on Alzheimer’s research, visit the National Institute on Aging.
Copyright © 2011 Care-Help LLC