Alzheimer’s costs continue to rise

Caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is more expensive than ever before.

Total annual payments for healthcare, long-term care and hospice will top $259 billion in 2017, according to the 2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report. The annual report, released by the Alzheimer’s Association, is a comprehensive compilation of national statistics on dementia.

And despite some coverage from Medicare, Medicaid and other forms of financial assistance, the average per-person out-of-pocket costs for seniors with dementia are almost five times higher than those without, $10,315 versus $2,232.

“As the number of people with Alzheimer’s continues to grow, so do the impact and cost of providing care,” said Beth Kallmyer, MSW, Vice President of Constituent Services for the Alzheimer’s Association in a press release.  “While we’ve seen recent increases in federal research funding and access to critical care planning and support services, there’s still an urgent need to support research that can bring us closer to effective treatment options and, ultimately, a cure.”

Other key findings from the report:

  • 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.
  • Alzheimer's remains the only disease among the top 10 causes of death in America that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed.
  • Although deaths from other major causes have decreased, new data from the report shows that deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased significantly. Between 2000 and 2014, deaths from heart disease decreased 14 percent while deaths from Alzheimer’s increased 89 percent.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Topics: Alzheimer's/Dementia