Troubling Trends Among Alzheimer’s Patients

Alzheimer's Disease

If you or someone you love suffers from Alzheimer’s, you’re not alone. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans currently suffer from this degenerative brain disease. Because millions of baby boomers are nearing retirement age, the Alzheimer’s population could potentially triple by 2050.

Here are some more troubling statistics about the disease, compiled by consumer health insights website Treato:

3. Older people with Alzheimer’s are hospitalized three times as often as other older people.

6. Alzheimer’s is believed to be the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.

16. It is estimated that 16 percent of women over 65 suffer from Alzheimer’s, which is about two-thirds of all Alzheimer’s patients. In comparison, about 11 percent of men over 65 have Alzheimer’s. This discrepancy is attributed to the fact that women tend to live longer than men and old age is the most significant risk factor for the disease.

40. The Alzheimer’s population has exploded in recent years. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of Americans over 65 suffering from the disease increased by 40 percent. In addition, 40 percent of caregivers for individuals with Alzheimer’s report being depressed.

45. Alzheimer’s is severely under-diagnosed. Experts believe that 45 percent of older people with Alzheimer’s are unaware of their condition.

250,000. It is estimated that 250,000 children between the ages of 8 and 18 help care for an older person with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

17 billion. Unpaid caregivers (spouses, adult children, friends, etc.) provide 17 billion hours of informal care every year. The total cost of this labor is estimated to be $220 billion.

Given the negative outlook these numbers portray, it’s comforting to know that the people in charge of our government are taking steps to support the search for an Alzheimer’s cure. In June 2015, a bipartisan Senate committee called for a 60% increase in funding for Alzheimer’s research, the largest increase in history.

On a similarly positive note, the web now offers patients and caregivers countless resources for familiarizing themselves with Alzheimer’s and connecting with others who are dealing with the disease or caring for a loved one. This past November, during National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, Treato published its first annual rankings of the top online support communities for Alzheimer’s. Check it out here.

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