Though we don’t understand what causes Alzheimer’s disease or know how to cure it, researchers around the world are constantly learning more about the deadly form of dementia. With a record number of seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s, it’s important that caregivers and loved ones stay informed. Here are some of the latest facts you’ll want to know.
According to a report issued by The Alzheimer’s Association, there are at least 5 million people over the age of 65 who have Alzheimer’s dementia. As more and more Baby Boomers reach their senior years, the number of Alzheimer’s cases will rise. In fact, by the year 2025, an estimated 7.1 million seniors will be diagnosed with this form of dementia. That’s a 40 percent increase from 2013. What’s worse, in the year 2050, experts predict the disease will affect 13.8 million people over the age of 65.
The problem with Alzheimer’s is that it’s often hard to differentiate the disease from age-related memory loss. As we age, some degree of memory loss is to be expected. The hard part is deciphering whether the memory loss is just a normal sign of aging or if it is early-stage Alzheimer’s. In fact, out of the 5 million seniors suffering with Alzheimer’s, an estimated 2 million are likely unaware they have the disease.
Women make up an estimated two-thirds of the Alzheimer’s population. While this fact would seem to suggest that one gender is more prone to the disease than the other, nothing could be further from the truth. The reason this statistic is so high among women is due to the fact they live longer than men.[blockquote source=]Women make up an estimated two-thirds of the Alzheimer’s population.[/blockquote]
The price tag that goes along with caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s is staggering. In 2013, caring for the disease cost the nation an estimated $203 billion. Out of that total, $142 billion was paid for by Medicare and Medicaid. By the year 2050, experts estimate the total cost for medical care, long-term care and hospice services for seniors with dementia will increase to an astounding $1.2 trillion.
For all the seniors blessed to have family caregivers, there are thousands who live alone. In fact, an estimated 800,000 seniors with Alzheimer’s currently have no caregiver at all. With no support system, these seniors live each day in danger. With no caregiver, seniors commonly fall, wander and suffer from malnutrition.