Alzheimer’s afflicts approximately 4 million Americans and it’s estimated that one in three of us will face this disease in an older relative. More than 100,000 people die annually, making Alzheimer’s disease the fourth leading cause of death among adults. Half of all current nursing home patients are affected, making AD a costly public health and long term care problem. An estimated $100 billion is spent annually on the care of AD, including costs for diagnosis, treatment, nursing home care, at-home care and lost wages. More than 75% of those with Alzheimer’s live at home. The national average lifetime cost of the disease per patient is $200,000
Alzheimer’s also affects the patient’s caregivers, who become the second victims. Persons with AD often require 24-hour care and supervision, most of which is provided in the home by family and friends. In addition to the tremendous stress of providing care, families also bear most of the financial burdens of the disease as well.
Although there have been numerous advances in treatment options, there is no cure at this time. Unless a cure or prevention is found, the number of those afflicted will jump to 16 million by the year 2050. Worldwide, it is estimated that 22 million individuals will develop Alzheimer’s disease by the year 2025.