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How Many Families Are Affected By Alzheimer’s

Estimates Of The Number Of People With Alzheimer’s Dementia By State

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Table lists the estimated number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s dementia by state for 2020, the projected number for 2025, and the projected percentage change in the number of people with Alzheimer’s between 2020 and 2025.,

Projected Number with Alzheimer’s Percentage Increase
  • Created from data provided to the Alzheimer’s Association by Weuve et al.,

As shown in Figure , between 2020 and 2025 every state across the country is expected to experience an increase of at least 6.7% in the number of people with Alzheimer’s. These projected increases in the number of people with Alzheimer’s are due solely to projected increases in the population age 65 and older in these states. Because risk factors for dementia such as midlife obesity and diabetes can vary dramatically by region and state, the regional patterns of future burden may be different than reported here. Based on these projections, the West and Southeast are expected to experience the largest percentage increases in people with Alzheimer’s dementia between 2020 and 2025. These increases will have a marked impact on statesâ health care systems, as well as the Medicaid program, which covers the costs of long-term care and support for many older residents with dementia, including more than a quarter of Medicare beneficiaries with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.


Educating The Family About Alzheimers Disease

When a family member is diagnosed with a life-altering disease such as Alzheimers, you may not know what comes next or where to turn. Especially if you will be serving as the primary caregiver, you may want to only educate yourself as you might think that you will be able to handle it on your own. In reality, Alzheimers is a family diagnosis. It does not just alter the life of your loved one who was diagnosed and yourself as a caregiver, it affects anyone and everyone who may come into contact with your loved one. To be best-equipped to face the challenges that Alzheimers and other forms of memory loss will bring with it, building a strong support system is essential. Many times this foundation begins with educating the family and making sure that they are aware of the changes, trials, and hardships to come.

When it comes time to talk to family members and friends about Alzheimers disease, you may believe that sparing them details will help them. The opposite is actually true. Its important to be honest with friends and family so that they have an accurate idea of what is going on and how things are going to change as the disease progresses. Once they know about Alzheimers disease, they can begin to educate themselves in order to be able to help you care for your loved one and better understand what they can do to help, essentially building a much-needed support system.

Families And The Financial Burden Of Alzheimers

Alzheimers can have a devastating financial impact on families. Many family caregivers have had to cut back on spending, dip into personal retirement savings and sell assets for disease expenses. Of the 15 million unpaid caregivers in the United States, two out of five have a household income of less than $50,000.

Recently, a Family Impact of Alzheimers survey interviewed over 3,500 people, 500 of whom provided caregiving and/or financial aid to a parent or senior loved one with the disease.

The survey found that:

  • Nearly 50% of caregivers cut back on spending
  • 20% went to the doctor less often
  • 11% of caregivers failed to get their own medications
  • 11% cut back on childrens educational expenses

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Family And Friend Carers Are Often More Sensitive To Changes In Mood And Well

This can be important in ensuring quick action is taken to prevent a more rapid decline in health.

We know that infection control is of paramount importance, but meaningful contact with loved ones helps people living with dementia to feel secure and improve anxiety and mood. It also helps them to maintain basic cognition and communication skills vital to living as independently as they can.

Blanket visiting restrictions are having a devastating impact on people living with dementia. It doesnt have to be this way.

What Is The Cost Of Dementia Care

  • The total cost of care for people with dementia in the UK is £34.7billion.
  • This is set to rise sharply over the next two decades, to £94.1billion in 2040.
  • These costs are made up of healthcare costs , social care costs , and costs of unpaid care .
  • The largest proportion of this cost, 45%, is social care, which totals £15.7billion.
  • Social care costs are set to nearly triple over the next two decades, to £45.4billion by 2040.

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High Costs And Effects Of Caregiving

  • The estimated number of caregivers for people with Alzheimers and other dementias in 2020 is 11.2 million.
  • Caregivers provided 15.3 billion hours of unpaid care in 2020, valued at almost $257 billion, to people living with Alzheimers and other dementias.
  • Two-thirds of dementia caregivers are women.
  • The prevalence of depression is higher among dementia caregivers than other caregivers, such as those who provide help to individuals with schizophrenia or stroke .

Your Resource For Family Support

At Tuscan Gardens of Venetia Bay, we understand the heartache that comes with Alzheimers disease and dementia, shares Clanton. Our community was built upon the values and aspirations we have for our own families well-being, and many of us have witnessed first-hand the familial trials that Alzheimers brings with it.

We are here to help seniors living with memory loss as well as their family members however we can. Whether you and your family are looking for dignified memory care for a loved one, resources on care techniques or simply a community of support made up of compassionate people who understand what youre going through, Tuscan Gardens can help you find just what you need.

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The Many Anxieties Of Alzheimers Disease

Five years ago, Sarah Gilbert started noticing something was off with her mom.

At first, it was little things, like forgetting her car keys. But then one day, Gilbert went to pick up her mom for their lunch date and she didnt show she finally found her mom wandering aimlessly around her home in central Oregon. The episode launched a five-year odyssey of doctor appointments, misdiagnoses, and ineffective medications that finally concluded this summer with a verdict: Her mom, now 72, likely has Alzheimers disease.

The first couple days, I felt like a shell of my own self. Why us? Why me? Its not fair, she told me. It felt like it came out of the blue.

Her family had to figure out what to do, but there was so much they didnt know and couldnt know yet. Her parents had planned well financially for their retirement, but they hadnt planned for this. Gilbert fears that her dad is going to work himself into the ground worrying about the financial stuff.

Gilbert is also a nurse, and as much as she wanted answers, she already knew Alzheimers disease defies them. Science has made strides in identifying the biological markers in the brain that would indicate a person is at higher risk of Alzheimers disease, but there is still a long way to go.

A 2021 report from the Alzheimers Association ticks through a dozen risk factors for the disease, ranging from age and family history to cardiovascular health and diet. Even education and social engagement might contribute.

Treatment Of Alzheimer’s Dementia

How a Dementia Diagnosis Can Affect a Family

2.5.1 Pharmacologic treatment

None of the pharmacologic treatments available today for Alzheimer’s dementia slow or stop the damage and destruction of neurons that cause Alzheimer’s symptoms and make the disease fatal. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved five drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s â rivastigmine, galantamine, donepezil, memantine, and memantine combined with donepezil. With the exception of memantine, these drugs temporarily improve cognitive symptoms by increasing the amount of chemicals called neurotransmitters in the brain. Memantine blocks certain receptors in the brain from excess stimulation that can damage nerve cells. The effectiveness of these drugs varies from person to person and is limited in duration.

Many factors contribute to the difficulty of developing effective treatments for Alzheimer’s. These factors include the slow pace of recruiting sufficient numbers of participants and sufficiently diverse participants to clinical studies, gaps in knowledge about the precise molecular changes and biological processes in the brain that cause Alzheimer’s disease, and the relatively long time needed to observe whether an investigational treatment affects disease progression.

2.5.2 Non-pharmacologic therapy

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Use And Costs Of Long

An estimated 70% of older adults with Alzheimer’s or other dementias live in the community, compared with 98% of older adults without Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Of those with dementia who live in the community, 74% live with someone and the remaining 26% live alone. As their disease progresses, people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias generally receive more care from family members and other unpaid caregivers. Many people with dementia also receive paid services at home in adult day centers, assisted living facilities or nursing homes or in more than one of these settings at different times during the often long course of the disease. Medicaid is the only public program that covers the long nursing home stays that most people with dementia require in the late stages of their illnesses.

6.3.1 Use of long-term care services by setting

Long-term care services provided at home and in the community

Transitions between care settings

6.3.2 Costs of long-term care services

Affordability of long-term care services

Long-term care insurance

Medicaid costs


How Families Can Cope With Their Loved Ones Disease

Each family member may react to their loved ones Alzheimers disease in a different way and have individual hurdles to overcome in order to cope with the new normal of their relationship. While every relationship is different, memory care experts willingly share their ideas for helping families remain as close to their loved one as possible.

According to Nancy Pearce, MS, MSW, author of the article Helping Families Affected by Alzheimers, family members not only need to understand the effects of the disease on their loved one, but also need to find ways to stay open and connected to their loved one in order to heal the emotional burdens the disease has caused.

In addition to seeking professional or group support, Pearce suggests a few emotional strategies that family members can try in order to begin coping with their loved ones Alzheimers:

  • Allow Time to Grieve Some family members may struggle with denial, holding onto the hope that their loved one will somehow get better and begin acting like their self again. Denial is usually a defense against the painful feelings of loss. However, acknowledging the loss of a cherished relationship and allowing time to grieve fully can give family members the opportunity to accept their present circumstances and find new ways to connect to their loved one.

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Who Has Alzheimers Disease

  • In 2020, as many as 5.8 million Americans were living with Alzheimers disease.1
  • Younger people may get Alzheimers disease, but it is less common.
  • The number of people living with the disease doubles every 5 years beyond age 65.
  • This number is projected to nearly triple to 14 million people by 2060.1
  • Symptoms of the disease can first appear after age 60, and the risk increases with age.

Medications To Maintain Mental Function In Alzheimer’s Disease


Several medications are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat symptoms of Alzheimers. Donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine are used to treat the symptoms of mild to moderate Alzheimers. Donepezil, memantine, the rivastigmine patch, and a combination medication of memantine and donepezil are used to treat moderate to severe Alzheimers symptoms. All of these drugs work by regulating neurotransmitters, the chemicals that transmit messages between neurons. They may help reduce symptoms and help with certain behavioral problems. However, these drugs dont change the underlying disease process. They are effective for some but not all people and may help only for a limited time.

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Unpaid Caregivers Need Help

  • Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s or another dementia is often extremely difficult, and many family and other unpaid caregivers experience high levels of emotional stress and depression as a result.14
  • Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease has been found to have a negative impact on the health, employment, income, and financial security of many caregivers.15

Loss Of Neuronal Connections And Cell Death

In Alzheimers disease, as neurons are injured and die throughout the brain, connections between networks of neurons may break down, and many brain regions begin to shrink. By the final stages of Alzheimers, this processcalled brain atrophyis widespread, causing significant loss of brain volume.

Learn more about Alzheimer’s disease from MedlinePlus.

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Specific Information In This Report

Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures

  • Brain changes that occur with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Risk factors for Alzheimer’s dementia.
  • Number of Americans with Alzheimer’s dementia nationally and for each state.
  • Lifetime risk for developing Alzheimer’s dementia.
  • Proportion of women and men with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
  • Number of deaths due to Alzheimer’s disease nationally and for each state, and death rates by age.
  • Number of family caregivers, hours of care provided, and economic value of unpaid care nationally and for each state.
  • The impact of caregiving on caregivers.
  • National cost of care for individuals with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, including costs paid by Medicare and Medicaid and costs paid out of pocket.
  • Medicare payments for people with dementia compared with people without dementia.
  • Number of geriatricians needed by state in 2050.

The Appendices detail sources and methods used to derive statistics in this report.

When possible, specific information about Alzheimer’s disease is provided in other cases, the reference may be a more general one of âAlzheimer’s or other dementias.â

The Basics Of Alzheimers Disease

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Scientists are conducting studies to learn more about plaques, tangles, and other biological features of Alzheimers disease. Advances in brain imaging techniques allow researchers to see the development and spread of abnormal amyloid and tau proteins in the living brain, as well as changes in brain structure and function. Scientists are also exploring the very earliest steps in the disease process by studying changes in the brain and body fluids that can be detected years before Alzheimers symptoms appear. Findings from these studies will help in understanding the causes of Alzheimers and make diagnosis easier.

One of the great mysteries of Alzheimers disease is why it largely affects older adults. Research on normal brain aging is exploring this question. For example, scientists are learning how age-related changes in the brain may harm neurons and affect other types of brain cells to contribute to Alzheimers damage. These age-related changes include atrophy of certain parts of the brain, inflammation, blood vessel damage, production of unstable molecules called free radicals, and mitochondrial dysfunction .

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Signs Youre Not Coping

The responsibility of looking after a loved onewith dementia is huge, and its only a matter of time before youll encounter acrisis and realize that you arent coping. Because everyone reacts differentlyto difficult situations and experiences, it might not be apparent to you atfirst that a member of your family is struggling to cope with the reality ofyour loved ones dementia. In fact, that person might even be you without yourealizing it.

There are some general signs that people tendto show when they arent coping and are experiencing what is known as caregiver burnout.

As the image above shows, your burnout anddifficulty coping can manifest itself in different ways. When Id reachedcaregiver burnout, I was dead on my feet from exhaustion, yet I couldnt sleepat night. I worried about my Grandpa all the time and felt guilty if I wasnthelping him and taking some time for myself instead.

In short, I wasnt coping, and if you or afamily member show any of the above or following signs, then you might want toconsider that you could be suffering from caregiver burnout:

  • Anxiety-related symptoms

Unexplained aches and pains, nightmares, sleepdisturbances, and excessive worrying are all signs of anxiety, and you shouldconsider speaking to your family and GP if you are experiencing them.

  • Work deterioration
  • Being sad and teary

You need to take care of yourself so that youcan take care of your loved one with dementia.

  • Appearing unaffected
  • Retreating from the situation

Do Genes Cause Diseases

Genetic mutations can cause diseases. If a person inherits a genetic mutation that causes a certain disease, then he or she will usually get the disease. Sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, and some cases of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease are examples of inherited genetic disorders.

Other changes or differences in genes, called genetic variants, may increase or decrease a person’s risk of developing a particular disease. When a genetic variant increases disease risk but does not directly cause a disease, it is called a genetic risk factor.

Identifying genetic variants may help researchers find the most effective ways to treat or prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s in an individual. This approach, called precision medicine, takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person.

The expression of geneswhen they are switched on or offcan be affected, positively and negatively, by environmental and lifestyle factors, such as exercise, diet, chemicals, or smoking. The field of epigenetics is studying how such factors can alter a cell’s DNA in ways that affect gene activity.

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