Report Healthcare Costs For Alzheimers Disease Reaching Crisis Proportions

03.24.09 | FL News Team

A newly-released report from the Alzheimer's Association says someone in America develops Alzheimer's disease every 70 seconds. That figure will accelerate to one every 33 seconds by the year 2050 unless a cure is found

The report released today says there are already five-point-three-million Americans living with the disease which is causing health care costs to rise at an alarming rate. The organization suggests that with a rapidly aging population of baby boomers the health care industry needs to address what is already a cost crisis.

The report says health care costs for people age 65 and higher are typically more than ten-thousand dollars per year when Alzheimer's is not a factor. With Alzheimer's or other dementia related issues the annual cost triples to 33-thousand dollars. Medicare generally picks up half the cost, Medicaid and private insurance pick up a little more and the rest is out of pocket which amounts to thousands of dollars annually. 

Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S and that figure is rising while the report shows deaths from other major diseases like heart disease, breast and prostate cancers and even stroke have decreased.

The Alzheimer's Association says with the first wave of baby boomers turning 65 in just a couple of years an aggressive plan is necessary now to address both the financial and emotional threats of the disease both to victims and family members who become primary caregivers. There are, at the moment, no treatments that can prevent, delay or reverse Alzheimer's.