Report: Alzheimer's care to cost $200 billion this year

The report issued by the Alzheimer's Association also estimates that as many as 800,000 Americans have this illness and live alone. As many as half of these people don't have specific arrangements to help them get care.

San Francisco Chronicle: About 800,000 In U.S. Have Alzheimer's, Live Alone
Joseph Engh was visiting his father in San Francisco six months ago when he noticed something was wrong. … Roughly 800,000 people in the United States have Alzheimer's and live alone, according to an Alzheimer's Association report released today. … A lot of services exist for older adults who have dementia, but if patients don't have someone to help them apply for those services, they may not get the help they need, said Cynthia Barton, a geriatric nurse practitioner at UCSF's Memory and Aging Center (Allday, 3/8).

National Journal: Dementia To Cost $200 Billion In 2012, Report Finds
The bill for taking care of people with Alzheimer's and other dementias will reach $200 billion this year in the United States, including  $140 billion paid by Medicare and Medicaid, the Alzheimer's Association said on Thursday. The group estimated that 800,000 Americans have Alzheimer's and live alone, and as many as half don't have any set person to help care for them (Fox, 3/8).

CNN: Report: Yearly Cost Of Alzheimer's Tops $200 Billion
Caring for the estimated 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer's disease is not just a medical crisis, it's also an economic one according to a new report released Thursday.  The Alzheimer's Association's "2012 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures" finds that the cost of caring for patients with Alzheimer's and other dementias will total $200 billion this year and is projected to increase to $1.1 trillion a year by 2050. "That is real money, even in government terms," says Dr. William Thies, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer with the Alzheimer's Association (Hagan, 3/8).

In related news, here's a sampling of articles from The New York Times about caring for the nation's aging population -

The New York Times: Needed: Health Professionals To Treat The Aging
Laura Kaufman no longer treats her patients in a suburban dental office. These days, she cleans teeth, does simple extractions and provides other basic care in the homes of inner-city elderly who are too frail to travel. After a decade of private practice in the Boston area, Ms. Kaufman found that a growing number of her dental patients were older people and that she often had little idea of their complete medical picture. So she decided to become "geriatricized" -; educated on how to recognize and handle aging patients, who typically have several chronic conditions, as well as multiple prescription medications (Olson, 3/7).

The New York Times: Found: Older Volunteers To Fill Labor Shortage
At the Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning, also in Denver, older volunteers help teach health literacy, arrange transportation and accompany Bhutanese and Burmese refugees and immigrants to medical appointments, said Brandy Kramer, the institute's volunteer coordinator. "Our boomers are wonderful advocates for our community members; they are tenacious and won't take no for an answer from a health care provider" (Pope, 3/7).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.



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