Black Health

Why Alzheimer’s Disease Demands Our Attention

It’s progressive disease caused by degeneration and eventually death of nerve cells in different part of the brain.

Among the top ten death causes in America, Alzheimer’s is the only disease that can’t be prevented, slowed or cured.

The population of Americans who have Alzheimer’s disease is growing very fast. By last year, about 5.2 million Americans (age 65 and older), and estimated 200,000 Americans (under 65 years old) had Alzheimer’s.

Today one in nine individuals aged 65 and older live with Alzheimer’s disease.

By 2050, in every thirty-three seconds, someone will develop Alzheimer’s in the U.S.

As the ‘baby boom’ generation has begun attaining age 65 and older, the number will highly escalate. By mid-century, the number may closely triple, from 5.2 million to a predicted 16million (U.S. Census report), hindering the development of medical efforts to cure or prevent the Alzheimer’s.

61percent of people with Alzheimer’s (age 70) are projected to die before attaining 80 years unlike 30percent of none- Alzheimer’s people (a rate twice as high).

This disease is officially ranked as the sixth-leading death cause in the U.S. Also; it is the fifth-leading death cause for Americans age 65 and above. Statistically, deaths from Alzheimer’s have risen significantly from 2013 (71 percent). According to official death certificates, at least 84,000 Americans died from Alzheimer’s in 2013;

In 2015, about 15.9 million friends and family offered 18.1 billion hours of voluntarily care to patients with Alzheimer’s. That care had an approximated economic value of ($221.3 billion).

It is noted; 41percent of caregivers receive a household income of at maximum $50,000.

Averagely, caregivers lose at least $15,000 in their annual earnings as due to quitting or reducing work to meet the requirements of caregiving.

Most Alzheimer’s caregivers rate the high emotional stress and depression.

Not only does Alzheimer’s crisis affect the patients, but also bankrupt the Medicare.

In last year, total expenditure on health care (hospice and long-term care), were approximated to be $236 billion for Americans with Alzheimer’s, and with just under half of the payments contributed by Medicare.

Medicaid and Medicare were estimated to cover $160 billion, (68 percent), of the total health care cost and long-term care expenditures for people with Alzheimer’s disease. About 20percent of Medicare dollars is spent on Americans with Alzheimer’s among other dementias. In mid-century, it will rise to about 33.3percent.

Unless otherwise, by 2050, Costs to Medicare will rise by 360 percent. This awful increase includes a nearly five times rise in government expenditure under Medicaid and Medicare, and about five times rise in out-of-pocket expenditure.

BY: DANIEL PETERSON

To Top