Saturday, March 10, 2012

Nearly 11,500 Kentuckians with Alzheimer’s live Alone

KENTUCKY (3/8/12) - Advance planning for future legal, financial and long-term care needs is critical for the estimated one in seven Americans − or 11,430 Kentuckians − diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and who still live alone, up to half of them without an identifiable caregiver, according to the Alzheimer’s Association® 2012 Facts and Figures Report, released today.
“Alzheimer’s and other dementias take our loved ones through unfamiliar territory, and advance planning in the early stages of the disease allow them to build a care team, make financial plans and prepare for future safety concerns, while they are still cognitively able to do so,” said Teri Shirk, president and CEO of the Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, which offers a variety of resources for individuals with Alzheimer’s as well as their family members and other caregivers.
States need to plan ahead as well: Today’s report projects a 500 percent increase in combined state Medicare and Medicaid spending by 2050 due to the expanding population of Alzheimer’s patients. According to the report, which found that someone in America develops Alzheimer’s every 68 seconds, as many as 6.7 million Americans will be living with the disease by 2025, including 97,000 Kentucky residents (a 31 percent increase over 2000, when 74,000 Kentuckians had Alzheimer’s). Nearly 30 percent of those with Alzheimer’s are on Medicare and Medicaid, compared to just 11 percent of those without dementia.
“Caring for people with Alzheimer’s will cost the United States an estimated $200 billion in 2012, an amount that already threatens to overwhelm federal and state budgets,” Shirk said. “Absent intervention, those costs will grow to $1.1 trillion by mid-century. Then there are the out-of-pocket costs to family caregivers, which are projected to balloon 400 percent by 2050. We simply must have a National Alzheimer’s Plan in place that establishes the resources we need to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s, and to ensure much-needed support for those with Alzheimer’s and their families.” A draft National Alzheimer’s Plan was announced February 22, and comments currently are being sought.
Other Kentucky-related statistics included in today’s report:
• The new report reveals there are 15.2 million friends and family members providing care for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, including 264,658 caregivers in Kentucky. In 2011, these caregivers provided $210 billion worth of unpaid care nationally; and $3.65 billion in Kentucky (in fact, Kentucky was one of 39 states in which unpaid caregivers provided care valued at more than $1 billion).
• The physical and emotional impact on Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers is estimated to result in nearly $9 billion in increased health care costs in the United States, including $144.6 million for caregivers in Kentucky.
• About 51,000 residents of Kentucky nursing homes in 2009 had cognitive impairments.
Other national statistics in the Alzheimer’s Association® 2012 Facts and Figures report:
• According to the Alzheimer’s Association report, there are 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, including 5.2 million people age 65 or older and 200,000 people under the age of 65. And 45 percent of adults 85 and older have Alzheimer’s.
• Medicare payments for an older person with Alzheimer’s or other dementias are nearly three times higher, while Medicaid payments are 19 times higher than for seniors without Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
• While only 4 percent of the general population will be admitted to a nursing home by age 80, for people with Alzheimer’s, 75 percent will be admitted to a nursing home by age 80, posing significant economic challenges to state Medicaid budgets.
• Most people survive an average of four to eight years after an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis, but some can live as long as 20 years with the disease.
• Of family caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, 61 percent rated their emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high.
Alzheimer’s Association’s Facts and Figures
The Alzheimer’s Association’s Facts and Figures report is a comprehensive compilation of national statistics and information on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The report conveys the impact of Alzheimer’s on individuals, families, government, and the nation’s healthcare system. Since its 2007 inaugural release, the report has become the most cited source covering the broad spectrum of Alzheimer’s issues. The Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report is an official publication of the Alzheimer’s Association®.
SurfKY News
Information provided by Danielle Waller

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