New Alzheimer’s Association Report Shows Growing Cost and Impact of Alzheimer’s Disease on Nation’s Families and Economy
Toledo, Ohio — March , 2017– For the first time, total payments for caring for individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias exceeded a quarter trillion dollars ($259 billion), according to findings from the 2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report. The report was released today by the Alzheimer’s Association.
The report also discusses the disease’s impact on caregivers, such as family members. According to Cheryl Conley, Program Director for the Alzheimer’s Association Northwest Ohio Chapter, the number of individuals who have Alzheimer’s and their families who need to learn to live with Alzheimer’s and related dementias is forecast to grow significantly over the next two decades.
There are 597,000 Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers in Ohio providing 680 million hours of unpaid care, a value of $8.59 billion. Nationwide, more than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care, such as physical, emotional, and financial support, for the estimated 5.5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s dementia. In 2016, Alzheimer’s caregivers provided an estimated 18.2 billion hours of unpaid care, which the report valued at $230.1 billion.
These contributions disproportionately come from women, who make up two-thirds of Alzheimer’s caregivers. New findings highlighted in the report show that of all dementia caregivers who provided care for more than 40 hours a week, 69 percent are women. Of those providing care to someone with dementia for more than 5 years, 63 percent are women and 37 percent are men.
The Facts and Figures report also found 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 to 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.
Ohio Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers have higher health costs of $421million. According to Conley, “We find that caregivers of persons who have dementia are dedicated and can provide care for many years. Families can show great strength; but at the same time, as the symptoms worsen and the amount of care increases, caregivers report stress, anxiety, and health problems.”
Soaring Cost, Prevalence and Mortality
The Facts and Figures report provides an in-depth look at the latest national statistics and information on Alzheimer’s prevalence, incidence, use and costs of care, caregiving and mortality.
Findings in the report show that, for the first time, total annual payments for health care, long-term care and hospice care for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias have surpassed a quarter of a trillion dollars ($259 billion). Additionally, despite support from Medicare, Medicaid, and other sources of financial assistance, individuals with Alzheimer’s or other dementias still incur high out-of-pocket costs. The average per-person out-of-pocket costs for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are almost five times higher than average per-person payments for seniors without these conditions ($10,315 versus $2,232).
Although deaths from other major causes have decreased, new data from the report shows that deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have increased significantly. Between 2000 and 2014, deaths from heart disease decreased 14 percent, while deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have increased 89 percent.
Alzheimer’s By the Numbers: Additional Findings on Prevalence, Incidence and Mortality
- There are an estimated 5.5 million Americans with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2017, including 210,000 in Ohio.
- Barring the development of medical breakthroughs, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s dementia may nearly triple from 5.3 million to 13.8 million by 2050.
- Every 66 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s dementia. By mid-century, someone in the U.S. will develop the disease every 33 seconds.
- Approximately 480,000 people—almost half a million—age 65 or older will develop Alzheimer’s dementia in the U.S. in 2017.
- Two-thirds of Americans over age 65 with Alzheimer’s dementia (3.3 million) are women.
- Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. and the fifth-leading cause of death for those ages 65 and older. In Ohio, 4,083 died with Alzheimer’s in 2014, the most recent figure available.
- Alzheimer’s remains the only disease among the top 10 causes of death in America that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.
Cost of Paid and Unpaid Care
- Total national cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is estimated at $259 billion (excludes unpaid caregiving), of which $175 billion is the cost to Medicare and Medicaid alone.
- Total payments for health care, long-term care and hospice for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are projected to increase to more than $1.1 trillion in 2050 (in 2017 dollars).
- In Ohio, the report estimated total Medicaid costs for Americans with dementia age 65 and older at $2.24 billion for 2017. In the next eight years, that figure is expected to increase 27.2% to $2.85 billion.
The Alzheimer’s Association, Northwest Ohio Chapter offers a wide variety of programs and services specifically designed for individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other dementias as well as families, caregivers, professionals, and the community as a whole. Included are a 24/7 toll-free helpline, early stage programs, care consultation, caregiver support groups, family caregiver education, speaker’s bureau programs, and professional training.
Full text of the Alzheimer’s Association 2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report can be viewed at alz.org. The report will also appear in the April 2017 issue of Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.
About 2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures
The Alzheimer’s Association 2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report is a comprehensive compilation of national statistics and information on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The report conveys the impact of Alzheimer’s on individuals, families, government and the nation’s health care system. Since its 2007 inaugural release, the report has become the preeminent source covering the broad spectrum of Alzheimer’s issues. The Facts and Figures report is an official publication of the Alzheimer’s Association.
About the Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. For more information, visit the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org or call the 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900.