Alzheimer’s care and caregiver costs demand greater efforts towards early detection, innovation
January 25, 2018 (Washington, D.C.) Recent research data developed by IHS Markit and the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) projects the cumulative total cost of Alzheimer’s disease between 2017 and 2030 will be $7.7 trillion - $3.2 trillion in health care costs and $4.5 trillion in the value of unpaid caregiving. Today, Alzheimer’s disease affects more than five million Americans, and one in three seniors die with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Further, an increasing number of Americans under the age of 65 have early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, another major indication that more must be done to better address and manage this debilitating chronic condition.
According to the Alzheimer's Association, 90 percent of what we know about Alzheimer's has been discovered in the last 20 years. Supporting efforts to better detect, treat and prevent the onset of this costly chronic disease is an important step towards saving lives and health care dollars, and time is of the essence for identifying areas of opportunity for change. The IHS/PFCD data asserts that within just five years of a breakthrough treatment, 2.6 million people could be spared from developing Alzheimer’s disease and $650 billion could be saved on health care costs and unpaid caregiving.
It is also imperative to recognize the impact Alzheimer’s disease has on caregivers. It is estimated that more than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. While total costs for health care, long-term care and hospice for people with Alzheimer’s are increasing, so is reliance on caregivers who often not only go unpaid, but also at a cost to their own health and wellness.
“The impact of Alzheimer’s disease spans far beyond the person with the diagnosis. Although progress has been made in learning about this disease, there is much more work to be done to better detect, treat and prevent Alzheimer’s, and to help better manage the care being provided within our health care system and by loved ones,” encouraged PFCD Chairman Ken Thorpe. “As research efforts for innovative breakthroughs continue and work is done in both the public and private sectors to address the human and economic cost drivers in our health care system, Alzheimer’s disease must be a top priority.”
For more information on the national and state by state cost impact of Alzheimer’s and data on chronic disease and mental health please visit: https://www.fightchronicdisease.org/pfcd-in-the-states.
The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is an international coalition of hundreds of patient, provider, community, business and labor groups, and health policy experts, committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability and rising health care costs: chronic disease.