Makin' Money

The high cost of Alzheimer’s

Chris Farrell Mar 15, 2011

The numbers on Alzheimer’s disease are sobering. The latest report from the Alzheimer’s Association estimate that 5.4 million Americans of all ages have the disease in 2011. The annual costs for health care, long-term care, and hospice care for Alzheimer’s is now $183 billion–and climbing.

Almost all the people with Alzheimer’s are aged 65 and older, but 200,000 individuals under the age of 65 have younger-onset Alzheimer’s.

The disease takes a toll on caregivers. According to * 2011 Alzheimer’s Disease: Facts and Figures* there are nearly 15 million Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers.

They provide 17 billion hours of unpaid care valued at $202 billion. Caregiver health suffers, too. Their physical and emotional ills add another $7.9 billion in additional health care costs to the overall tab. More than 60 percent of family caregivers report high levels of stress because of the prolonged duration of caregiving and 33 percent report symptoms of depression.

With figures like these, it’s little wonder the personal finance cost of caregiving is high.

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