Reuters News Service reports that U.S. deaths from Alzheimer’s disease rose by more than 50 percent from 1999 to 2014, and rates are expected to continue to rise, reflecting the nation’s aging population and increasing life expectancy, American researchers said on Thursday.
Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for 3.6 percent of all deaths in 2014, the report said.
Researchers have long predicted increased cases of Alzheimer’s as more of the nation’s baby boom generation passes the age of 65, putting them at higher risk for the age-related disease. The number of U.S. residents aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s is expected to nearly triple to 13.8 million by 2050.
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, a fatal brain disease that slowly robs its victims of the ability to think and care for themselves.
The sharp increase in Alzheimer’s deaths coupled with the rising number of people with Alzheimer’s dying at home have likely added to the burden on family members and others struggling to care for their stricken family members, they said.
The report suggests these individuals would benefit from services such as respite care and case management to ease the burden of caring for a person with Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of dementia and affects 5.5 million adults in the United States. It is expected to affect 13.8 million U.S. adults over 65 by the year 2050.
The Alzheimer’s Association predicts that by age 65, one in eight has Alzheimer’s. By age 75 it is one in four and by age 85 it is half of us. Alzheimer’s care is the most expensive long-term care of all the chronic conditions causing a need for care. 24-7 care at home is difficult, but many families do it, giving up jobs, transfers, advancement, and retiring early at their own financial peril to provide care for a loved one.
If you do not wish to become a burden to your family, consider long-term care insurance which covers Alzheimer’s care at home, in adult day care, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Such care bankrupts most people making the insurance a necessity.
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