Successfully dealing with Dementia

Dementia is Second Leading Contributor to Death in US

A new report recently released by the Alzheimer’s Association shows that dementia is the second largest contributor to death after heart failure. 

This report and the information from it will be particularly helpful to those of you in private duty home care who are frequently serving elderly clients with dementia as their primary or secondary chronic diagnosis.  Here are some statistics that you will find helpful as you further develop your home care program for serving clients with dementia and their families:

  • One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
  • Death from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia increased by 68% from 2000 to 2010.
  • Meanwhile, deaths from heart disease, HIV/AIDS, and stroke have declined.
  • Medicare costs for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other dementia are nearly three times higher than for those without it.
  • Medicaid payments for Alzheimer’s and dementia clients are 19 times higher.
  • The stress on family caregivers is estimated to result in more than $9 billion in increased health care costs.
  • The number of people with dementia is expected to rise from 5.2 million to 13.8 million by 2050.
  • Once symptoms appear, it is too late to reverse the disease.  Damage to the brain begins 10 to 20 years before symptoms appear.
  • In 2012 15.4 million family and friends provided 17.5 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias

Nearly 15 percent of caregivers are long-distance caregivers, living an hour or more away from their loved ones. Out-of-pocket expenses for long-distance caregivers are nearly twice as much as local caregivers.

In 2013, the direct costs of caring for those with Alzheimer’s to American society will total an estimated $203 billion.