Cost of Alzheimer’s in U.S. Reaches $227 Billion Annually

The sharp increase in cases, deaths and costs for Alzheimer’s disease is stressing the healthcare system in the U.S. as well as caregivers, revealed a new report released this week.

Close to 5.7 million Americans now have Alzheimer’s, with 5.5 million 65 years of age and older. It is estimated that by 2025, seniors with the disease will top 7.1 million, which is close to a 29% jump.

If new treatments are not found, the number could reach as high as 13.8 million in 2050, shows the new report about the disease that was published by the Alzheimer’s Association March 20 online.

Every 65 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer’s in the U.S. and by 2050 that will take place every 33 seconds, said experts.

While deaths related to other major causes are continuing to drop, deaths due to Alzheimer’s have doubled, increasing by 123% from 2000 to 2015. In comparison, deaths related to heart disease, the leading cause of death across the U.S., fell 11%.

The estimated cost for caring for those with Alzheimer’s as well as other dementia reached $277 billion for 2018, and that figure does not include caregiving that is unpaid.

Of that total, $186 billion represents Medicare and Medicaid costs, while $60 billion in costs are out of pocket, indicated data from the report.

It is expected that for the second straight year the total costs will exceed one quarter trillion, warned the report’s authors.

The total costs for care of people that have Alzheimer’s as well as other dementias could exceed $1.1 trillion by 2050 according to the just published report.

The authors of the report noted that caregivers in the family play a huge role in looking after patients with Alzheimer’s, and face significant threats to their emotional, physical as well as financial well-being. Close to 50% of all caregivers, who help older adults, care for someone that has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

In 2017, the lifetime cost to care for one person who has Alzheimer’s was $329,350. Families bear close to 70% of the cost through expenses that are out of pocket and the value of care that is unpaid.

During 2017, over 16 million people in the U.S. provided 18.4 billion hours of unpaid healthcare to patients with Alzheimer’s, which was worth more than $232 billion.

That takes a heavy toll on the caregivers to an estimated $11.4 billion in costs for additional healthcare in 2017.

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