For the second consecutive year, total payments to care for individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias will surpass a quarter of a trillion dollars ($277 billion), which includes an increase of nearly $20 billion from last year, according to data reported in the Alzheimer’s Association 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report released Tuesday.
New findings from the report show the growing burden of Alzheimer’s on people living with the disease, their families and caregivers, as well as society at large. The number of older Americans is growing rapidly, so too is the number of people living with Alzheimer’s and the subsequent impact to the nation’s economy. By 2050, the total cost of care for Alzheimer’s is projected to increase to more than $1.1 trillion.
“The burden of Alzheimer’s disease on Michigan’s families and economy is worsening,” said Jennifer Howard, Executive Director for the Alzheimer’s Association, Michigan Great Lakes Chapter. “With 180,000 Michiganders aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s, and Medicaid costs of $1.368 billion to care for those individuals, the impact of Alzheimer’s, both human and financial, is significant and growing rapidly.”
Given the long duration of this disease, the strain on Alzheimer’s caregivers can last several years and produce serious declines in caregiver physical, emotional and financial well-being. In 2017, 16 million Americans provided an estimated 18.4 billion hours of unpaid care in the form of physical, emotional and financial support – a contribution to the nation valued at $232.1 billion. The difficulties associated with providing this level of care are estimated to have resulted in $11.4 billion in additional healthcare costs for Alzheimer’s and other dementia caregivers in 2017.
Mortality from Alzheimer’s disease continues to rise. While deaths from other major causes continue to decrease, new data from the report shows that deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have more than doubled, increasing 123 percent between 2000 and 2015. For context the number of deaths from heart disease – the number one killer in America – decreased 11 percent.
“Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and in Michigan, with deaths increasing 129 in our state since the year 2000” says Howard. “Given the enormous burden Alzheimer’s has on individuals living with the disease, their families and the country as a whole – it must remain a public health priority for our state and our nation.”
Updated Alzheimer’s Statistics
The Facts and Figures report provides an in-depth look at the latest national and state statistics and information on Alzheimer’s prevalence, incidence, mortality, costs of care and caregiving:
Prevalence, Incidence and Mortality
- An estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2018.
- Of the estimated 5.7 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2018, 180,000 are Michigan residents.
- By 2025 – just seven years from now – the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s dementia is estimated to reach 7.1 million – an increase of almost 29 percent from the 5.5 million age 65 and older affected in 2018. Here in Michigan, the estimated number of individuals with Alzheimer’s will be 220,000.
- Barring the development of medical breakthroughs, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s dementia may nearly triple from 5.5 million to 13.8 million by 2050.
- Two-thirds of Americans over age 65 with Alzheimer’s dementia (3.4 million) are women.
- Every 65 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s dementia. By mid-century, someone in the U.S. will develop the disease every 33 seconds.
- Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S., and it is the fifth-leading cause of death for those age 65 and older. In Michigan, 3,771 died with Alzheimer’s in 2015, the most recent figure available.
- As the population of the U.S. ages, Alzheimer’s is becoming a more common cause of death, and it is the only top 10 cause of death that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.
Cost of Care
- Total national cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is estimated at $277 billion (not including unpaid caregiving) in 2018, of which $186 billion is the cost to Medicare and Medicaid; out-of-pocket costs represent $60 billion of the total payments, while other costs total $30 billion.
- In Michigan, the report estimated total Medicaid costs for Americans with dementia age 65 and older is $1.368 billion for 2018. In the next seven years, that figure is expected to increase 24.8% to $1.7 billion.
- Total payments for health care, long-term care and hospice care for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are projected to increase to more than $1.1 trillion in 2050 (in 2018 dollars).
- In 2017, the lifetime cost of care for a person living with dementia was $341,840 – with 70 percent of this cost borne by families directly through out-of-pocket costs and the value of unpaid care.
- Nearly half of all caregivers (48 percent) who provide help to older adults do so for someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
- Approximately two-thirds of caregivers are women, and one-third of dementia caregivers are daughters.
- Forty-one percent of caregivers have a household income of $50,000 or less.
“Alzheimer’s disease can be an isolating journey, but families don’t have to go through it alone,” says Howard. “The Alzheimer’s Association provides care and support services to families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease in every county in Michigan. Our goal is to connect individuals impacted by this disease, in all of the communities we serve, to the education, the support and the resources they need.”