Women Will Be Increasingly Burdened By Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease will place an increasing burden on women according to new reports. 

November is Long-Term Care Awareness Month and even the U.S. Congress has urged “the people of the United States to recognize (this) as an opportunity to learn more about the potential risks and costs … and the options available.”   Alzheimer’s is a leading cause of need for long-term care. 

Over 10 million American females either have Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or look after a patient with the disease, according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.  

Two thirds (65%) of all Alzheimer’s patients are female (3 million in America) and 6.7 million women care for somebody with the disease, says The Shriver Report, a collaboration between California’s First Lady Maria Shriver and The Alzheimer’s Association. 

By the year 2050 approximately 8 million women will have AD in the US.

Here are some of the highlights of the report:

  • Over 10 million American females either have AD or look after a patient with the disease
  • 65% of Alzheimer’s patients are female
  • 60% of caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients are female
  • 40% of caregivers who are female say they have no choice
  • One third of all female caregivers are caring for somebody with AD around the clock, seven days a week
  • The impact of AD on business, families and government is estimated to be $300 billion annually
  • Nearly two-thirds of caregivers who also have a job say they have no choice but to get to work late, clock off early and sometimes take time off to care for somebody with AD.

The current $300 billion impact of AD is set to triple within a few decades, the authors write. 78 million baby boomers are rapidly reaching the age of Alzheimer’s onset, Shriver points out; this will soon push up the economic and social costs for America as a whole.

Despite hundreds of clinical trials and millions spent on research, Alzheimer’s disease is still incurable. Researchers and experts continue to hope, and say we are making progress. Even so, there is a feeling among most Americans that scientific progress is too slow. When compared to innovative breakthroughs that have occurred in diabetes, stroke, cancer and heart disease, Americans rank Alzheimer’s at the bottom of the list.

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