Earlier this year, the Alzheimer’s Association released the 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures Report. This comprehensive study looked at how the disease impacts families on a variety of fronts. The financial impact of Alzheimer’s is one.
Here’s what we know:
- In 2014, friends and loved ones of people with Alzheimer's and related forms of dementia provided an estimated 17.9 billion hours of unpaid care.
- The unpaid care is valued at $217.7 billion. That figure equates to 46% of the net value of Walmart sales in 2013 and almost eight times the total revenue for McDonald's restaurants in 2013.
- Approximately two-thirds of primary family caregivers are women. 34% of them are age 65 or older.
- An estimated 250,000 children and young adults help care for a loved one with dementia.
- 41% of caregivers have a combined household income of less than $50,000.
- Because of the physical and emotional demands of caregiving, dementia caregivers racked up $9.7 billion in additional health care costs of their own in 2014.
- In 2015, the direct costs of caring for people with Alzheimer's in this country are projected to be about $226 billion. Half of those costs will be covered by Medicare.
- Medicare spends three times more money on people over the age 65 who have Alzheimer's and related forms dementias than for seniors who don’t. For Medicaid, the rate is 19 times higher.
- Nearly one in every five Medicare dollars is spent on people with dementia. By 2050 that number is expected to climb to one in every three dollars.
What can you do to help?
Become an advocate.
The Alzheimer’s Association has a variety of opportunities in which you can become involved. Whether it is for a few hours a month or a day a week, you can help in the fight against this disease.
Another organization to consider supporting is the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. They host a variety of events and programs to support people with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers including Memory Screening Week in early November.
If you have questions about Alzheimer’s or are concerned about your ability to keep a loved one with the disease safe at home, we encourage you to call the Five Star Senior Living closest to your home. Our caregivers will be happy to help!