New report shows sharp increases in Alzheimer’s prevalence, deaths, and costs of care in Oklahoma 

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OKLAHOMA – A new report shows sharp increases in Alzheimer’s prevalence, deaths and costs of care in Oklahoma.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 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.

By 2050, the total cost of care for Alzheimer’s is projected to increase to more than $1.1 trillion.

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.

Deaths from Alzheimer’s are also on the rise. 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.

Prevalence, Incidence and Mortality

  • An estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2018.
    •  5.5 million age 65 and older; 200,000 under the age of 65 (younger-onset Alzheimer’s)
  • Of the estimated 5.7 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2018, over 64,000 are Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma, the estimated number of individuals with Alzheimer’s will be 76,000.
  •  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 Oklahoma, 1,498 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 Oklahoma, the report estimated total Medicaid costs for Americans with dementia age 65 and older is $481 million for 2018. In the next seven years, that figure is expected to increase 24.8 percent to approximately $600 million.
  • 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.

Caregiving

  • 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.

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