The US healthcare system currently seems to be losing the battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Sadly, more and more cases of this condition appear every year. Because of this fact, the condition has become one of the most expensive in the US. More than 5.7 million Americans currently suffer from this disease and new data shows that the number will rise to 7.1 million.
A Worrying Perspective
Researchers fear that, with no new treatment available, the number of people diagnosed with this condition might increase up to 13.8 million in 2050. A new report shows that 1 person develops Alzheimer’s every 65 seconds. Although the number of deaths caused by other major diseases like heart conditions are declining, the number of deaths caused by Alzheimer’s disease has rose by 123%.
An estimated cost per year for dementia and Alzheimer’s is $277 billion. From this amount, $60 billion is out-of-pocket costs and $186 billion is the cost to Medicaid and Medicare. If things stay the same, by 2050 this figure can go up to $1.1 trillion.
More Costs for Diagnosis
This report also showed that the family caregivers have a major role. They face significant threats which range from physical to emotional problems. Almost half of the caregivers who look after older adults are caring for a patient with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The caregivers of people with this condition also spend twice as much as the other caregivers.
Researchers mentioned that an early diagnosis can lower the cost as much as 7.9 trillion in long term and health costs. This condition affects both the patient and the caregiver and therapy is not enough. Scientists are still trying to find an innovative way to treat this condition. The best way now is to prevent the disease by using your memory more and more every day, especially after the age of 60.