Alzheimer’s, Most Expensive Disease in America

by Nancy Wurtzel

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Alzheimer’s is the Most Expensive Disease in America

Alzheimer's, dementia, memory loss, aging parentsThe facts, statistics and figures related to Alzheimer’s disease are disturbing and depressing.  Please take a look at the current numbers and the projections compiled by The Alzheimer’s Association.

5.3 Million
More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s.

Every 67 seconds someone in the U.S. will develop Alzheimer’s disease.  By 2050, this number lowers even further to every 33 seconds.

45 Percent
Less than half of those living with Alzheimer’s or their caregivers report being told of their diagnosis.

Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., taking half a million lives a year.

68 Percent
Alzheimer’s deaths rose 68% from 200 to 2010.  In the top 10 causes of death in America, Alzheimer’s disease is the only one that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.

15 Million
More than 15 million are caregivers for those with the disease, providing 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care.

1.1 Trillion
Alzheimer’s care currently costs are $226 million, with Medicare and Medicaid paying for two-thirds of this amount.  By 2050, just 15 years from now, this figure will balloon to an astronomical $1.1 trillion.

Alzheimer’s is particularly cruel to women.  Nearly two-thirds of those living with Alzheimer’s are women and almost two-thirds of unpaid caregivers are women.

33 Percent
One in three seniors die with Alzheimer’s or another progressive brain disease.

One in Five
Nearly one in five Medicare dollars are spent on a person living with Alzheimer’s.

Paying for Alzheimer’s Disease

Finally, for families struggling to pay for care for their loved ones, the cost per person with Alzheimer’s is rising at an alarming rate.  In 2010 the annual price tag averaged $71,000.  This number will probably double to a staggering $140,000 a year for every individual living with Alzheimer’s disease.


*Photo Purchased from Dreamstime

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