Alzheimer’s disease affects men and women equally and knows no social or economic boundaries. Today, over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, including an estimated 200,000 under the age of 65.
It is estimated that there are 15.5 million caregivers caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease across the Nation. Caregiving is a costly job – financially, physically and emotionally. Alzheimer’s disease costs the American society approximately $214 billion annually- taking into account everything from lost employee productivity to increased healthcare costs.
More than 3 in 5 unpaid Alzheimer’s caregivers are women. Among women caregivers who also work, 20 percent have gone from working full time to part time because of their caregiving duties.
As the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease grows, so will the needs of caregivers. Due to the physical and emotional toll of caregiving, Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers had $9.3 billion in additional healthcare costs of their own in 2013. Moreover, unlike most diseases, the financial and emotional impact of Alzheimer’s disease on the caregiver is nearly equal to that of the affected person, thus increasing its overall societal threat.
What can you do?
Educate yourself about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia’s.
Be aware of the programs that are available in your area to support those with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregiver.
Contact your State legislator and urge them to place Alzheimer’s disease at the top of their health policy agenda by advocating for adequate funding for Alzheimer’s care and support.