Facts on Alzheimer’s…Part 2
Researchers are constantly learning more about Alzheimer’s dementia every year. However, some of these current statistics are staggering…
— The disease is the 6th-leading cause of death in the U.S.
Alzheimer’s is becoming a more common cause of death as the populations of the U.S. and other countries age. In part, this is because we are experiencing more success in reducing the rate of death from other causes, such as heart disease. Yet the rate of death from Alzheimer’s continues to increase.
— There are over 16 million American caregivers for someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
Family caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients provide a whopping 80% of the care at home. Only 10% of seniors receive all their care from paid health professionals.
— There is an increased likelihood of depression, emotional stress and financial problems among caregivers.
The communication difficulties and personality challenges of an Alzheimer’s patient can place an incredible strain on those providing care and support. The close relationship between the caregiver and the impaired person — a relationship involving shared emotions, experiences and memories — may particularly place caregivers at risk for stress related fatigue, psychological and physical illness. Support systems utilizing social and therapeutic interventions are shown to reduce this risk.
— The total cost of health and long-term care services for Alzheimer’s is $277 billion.
Over $102 billion of that amount was paid out of pocket. About $175 billion, or roughly 70%, was paid by Medicare and Medicaid. Medicaid coverage is particularly important for those Medicare beneficiaries who have very low assets and income but who need long-term care or skilled nursing.
— There are an estimated 800,000 Americans with the disease…and they live alone.
For all of the Alzheimer’s sufferers who are receiving support from family caregivers or who are living in an Alzheimer’s or dementia care community, as many as 15% of people with the disease still live alone. Many of those have no identified caregiver, a situation which puts them at greater risk of medical emergencies, poor self-care, social isolation and a range of other issues.
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John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions.
Phone: (781) 378-2164