alz assocFRANKFORT, Ky. (3/19/13) – One in three senior Americans dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, according to the Alzheimer's Association 2013 Alzheimer's Disease Facts & Figures report, released today. The new report shows that while deaths from other major diseases, such as heart disease, HIV/AIDS and stroke, continue to experience significant declines, Alzheimer’s deaths continue to rise – increasing 68 percent nationwide, and 73 percent in Kentucky - from 2000-2010.
 
“Kentucky is home to more than 80,000 people living with Alzheimer’s disease. With Alzheimer’s deaths continuing to rise, it is clear that urgent, meaningful action is necessary,” said Teri Shirk, executive director of the Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. “Without the development of medical breakthroughs that prevent, slow or stop the disease, by 2025, 97,000 Kentuckians will have Alzheimer’s.”
 
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the only leading cause of death without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression. Alzheimer’s was reported as the underlying cause of death for 83,494 individuals nationwide and 1,464 in Kentucky in 2010. These are individuals who died from Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s Association 2013 Facts and Figures reveals that, in 2013, an estimated 450,000 Americans will die with Alzheimer’s. Moreover, among 70-years-olds with Alzheimer’s disease, 61 percent are expected to die within a decade. Among 70-year-olds without Alzheimer’s, only 30 percent will die within a decade.
 
In 2012, more than 15 million Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers provided more than 17 billion hours of unpaid care – that care was valued at $216 billion nationwide. In Kentucky, that translates to 266,000 caregivers providing 303 million hours of unpaid care valued at $3.7 million. Due to the physical and emotional toll of caregiving, Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers in Kentucky had $152 million in additional health care costs of their own in 2012.
 
The burden on the nation’s health care system and government programs is also enormous. According to the report, payments for health and long-term care services for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias will total $203 billion in 2013, the lion’s share of which will be borne by Medicare and Medicaid with combined costs of $142 billion. Despite these staggering figures today, by 2050 total costs will increase 500 percent to $1.2 trillion.
 
Alzheimer’s Association 2013 Facts & Figures finds that nearly 15 percent of caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia are “long-distance caregivers” – caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease who live at least one hour away. These long-distance caregivers had annual out-of-pocket expenses nearly twice as high as local caregivers – $9,654 compared to $5,055.
 
The Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana offers a variety of educational and support resources for people living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers – a list of upcoming programs can be found on www.alz.org/kyin. Additionally, the Alzheimer’s Association has a variety of resources available 24 hours a day, seven days a week including:
 
• A toll-free Helpline (1-800-272-3900), care consultation and online resources to assist families with the care management of someone living with Alzheimer’s regardless of geography.
• ALZConnected™ (www.alzconnected.org), a social networking community for people with Alzheimer's, caregivers and others affected by the disease to share questions and form new connections.
• Alzheimer’s Navigator™ (www.alzheimersnavigator.org), a tool designed to help individuals with the disease, caregivers and family members evaluate their needs and develop a customized action plan that provides information, support and resources.
 
SurfKY News
Information provided by McKenzi Loid
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