MORE THAN 6 MILLION AMERICANS ARE LIVING WITH ALZHEIMER'S. BY 2050, THIS NUMBER IS PROJECTED TO RISE TO NEARLY 13 MILLION.
IN THE UNITED STATES, ALZHEIMER’S AND DEMENTIA DEATHS HAVE INCREASED 16% DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.
1 IN 3 SENIORS DIES WITH ALZHEIMER'S OR ANOTHER DEMENTIA. IT KILLS MORE THAN BREAST CANCER AND PROSTATE CANCER COMBINED.
IN 2021, ALZHEIMER'S AND OTHER DEMENTIAS WILL COST THE NATION $355 BILLION. BY 2050, THESE COSTS COULD RISE AS HIGH AS $1.1 TRILLION.
MORE THAN 11 MILLION AMERICANS PROVIDE UNPAID CARE FOR PEOPLE WITH ALZHEIMER'S OR OTHER DEMENTIAS.
IN 2020, THESE CAREGIVERS PROVIDED AN ESTIMATED 15.3 BILLION HOURS OF CARE VALUED AT NEARLY $257 BILLION.
ONLY 53% OF BLACK AMERICANS TRUST THAT A FUTURE CURE FOR ALZHEIMER’S WILL BE SHARED EQUALLY REGARDLESS OF RACE, COLOR OR ETHNICITY.
3 IN 10 HISPANICS DO NOT BELIEVE THEY WILL LIVE LONG ENOUGH TO DEVELOP DEMENTIA.
BETWEEN 2000 AND 2019, DEATHS FROM HEART DISEASE HAVE DECREASED 7.3% WHILE DEATHS FROM ALZHEIMER'S HAVE INCREASED 145%.
The number of Americans living with Alzheimer's is growing — and growing fast. More than 6 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer's.
An estimated 6.2 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer's dementia in 2021. Seventy-two percent are age 75 or older.
- One in nine people age 65 and older (11.3%) has Alzheimer's dementia.
- Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer's are women.
- Older Black Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer's or other dementias as older Whites.
- Older Hispanics are about one and one-half times as likely to have Alzheimer's or other dementias as older Whites.
As the number of older Americans grows rapidly, so too will the number of new and existing cases of Alzheimer's. By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s dementia may grow to a projected 12.7 million, barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or cure Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s is not just memory loss. Alzheimer’s kills.
- One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer's or another dementia. It kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
- Although deaths from other major causes have decreased significantly, official records indicate that deaths from Alzheimer's disease have increased significantly. Between 2000 and 2019, the number of deaths from Alzheimer's disease as recorded on death certificates has more than doubled, increasing 145.2%, while the number of deaths from the number one cause of death (heart disease) decreased 7.3%.
- Among people age 70, 61% of those with Alzheimer's dementia are expected to die before the age of 80 compared with 30% of people without Alzheimer's — a rate twice as high.
People age 65 and older survive an average of four to eight years after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s dementia, yet some live as long as 20 years with Alzheimer’s. This reflects the slow, uncertain progression of the disease.
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Eighty-three percent of the help provided to older adults in the United States comes from family members, friends or other unpaid caregivers. Nearly half of all caregivers who provide help to older adults do so for someone living with Alzheimer's or another dementia.
Who are the caregivers?
- About one in three caregivers (30%) is age 65 or older.
- Approximately two-thirds of caregivers are women; more specifically, over one-third of dementia caregivers are daughters.
- Most caregivers (66%) live with the person with dementia in the community.
- Approximately one-quarter of dementia caregivers are "sandwich generation" caregivers — meaning that they care not only for an aging parent, but also for children under age 18.
Alzheimer's takes a devastating toll on caregivers. Compared with caregivers of people without dementia, twice as many caregivers of those with dementia indicate substantial emotional, financial and physical difficulties.
Of the total lifetime cost of caring for someone with dementia, 70% is borne by families — either through out-of-pocket health and long-term care expenses or from the value of unpaid care.
Caring for Someone with Alzheimer's?
Cost to Nation
The costs of health care and long-term care for individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias are substantial, and dementia is one of the costliest conditions to society.
In 2021, Alzheimer's and other dementias will cost the nation $355 billion, including $239 billion in Medicare and Medicaid payments combined. Unless a treatment to slow, stop or prevent the disease is developed, in 2050, Alzheimer's is projected to cost more than $1.1 trillion (in 2021 dollars). This dramatic rise includes more than three-fold increases both in government spending under Medicare and Medicaid and in out-of-pocket spending.
- People living with Alzheimer's or other dementias have twice as many hospital stays per year as other older people.
- Medicare beneficiaries with Alzheimer's or other dementias are more likely than those without dementia to have other chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.
- Older people living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias have more skilled nursing facility stays and home health care visits per year than other older people.
- People living with Alzheimer's or other dementias make up a large proportion of all elderly people who receive adult day services and nursing home care.
Special Report: Race, Ethnicity and Alzheimer’s in America
Despite decades of research and calls to action to ensure that health care is accessible and equal for all regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, geography and socioeconomic status, that aim is still far from reality for too many Americans, as the Alzheimer’s Association Race, Ethnicity and Alzheimer’s in America special report shows:
- Discrimination is a barrier to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. These populations reported discrimination when seeking health care:
- 50% of Black Americans
- 42% of Native Americans
- 34% of Asian Americans
- 33% of Hispanic Americans
- Half or more dementia caregivers of color say they have faced discrimination when navigating health care settings for their care recipient:
- 63% of Native Americans
- 61% of Black Americans
- 56% of Hispanic Americans
- 47% of Asian Americans
- People of color want health care providers who understand their unique experiences and backgrounds, but fewer than three in five feel confident that they have access to culturally competent providers.
- Black Americans and Hispanic Americans are more likely to have Alzheimer’s and other dementias, but are less likely to be diagnosed than White Americans.
- Only 53% of Black Americans trust that a future cure for Alzheimer’s will be shared equally regardless of race, color or ethnicity.
- Hispanic Americans are about 1.5 times more likely to have Alzheimer’s and other dementia than Whites, yet three in 10 Hispanics do not believe they will live long enough to develop dementia.
- Hispanics, Blacks and Native Americans are twice as likely as Whites to say they would not see a doctor if experiencing thinking or memory problems.
These findings suggest there is a lot of work ahead to achieve better health equity. Paths forward include:
- Preparing the workforce to care for a racially and ethnically diverse population of older adults.
- Increasing diversity in dementia care.
- Engaging, recruiting and retaining diverse populations in Alzheimer’s research and clinical trials.
Worried About Memory Loss?
Alzheimer’s in Each State
The 2021 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report contains data on the impact of this disease in every state across the nation. Click below to see the effect that Alzheimer's is having in your state.