”Medicare is a lifeline for seniors and the disabled, paying for “medically necessary” costs such as hospitalization, surgery, chemotherapy, transplants, medications, pacemakers and other interventions... A dementia diagnosis demands none of that. What it does require, however, is around-the-clock “custodial care,” such as help with eating and dressing, and constant supervision. That’s not covered by Medicare. And it’s extraordinarily expensive, according to a report released last month by the Alzheimer’s Association...Families’ out-of-pocket costs for a patient with dementia are 80 percent higher than the cost for someone with heart disease or cancer, according to a 2015 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
An estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer's dementia in 2018. This number includes an estimated 5.5 million people age 65 and older and approximately 200,000 individuals under age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer's.
- One in 10 people age 65 and older (10 percent) has Alzheimer's dementia.
- Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer's are women.
- Older African-Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer's or other dementias as older whites.
- Hispanics are about one and one-half times as likely to have Alzheimer's or other dementias as older whites.
Mortality from Alzheimer's is shockingly high, but mortality so often comes with a steep cost for lifetime suffering. Alzheimer's disease is the only top 10 cause of death in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.
Alzheimer's disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, and the fifth-leading cause of death among those age 65 and older. It also is a leading cause of disability and poor health.
Although deaths from other major causes have decreased significantly, official records indicate that deaths from Alzheimer's disease have increased significantly. Between 2000 and 2015, deaths from Alzheimer's disease as recorded on death certificates increased 123 percent, while deaths from the number one cause of death (heart disease) decreased 11 percent. Among people age 70, 61 percent of those with Alzheimer's are expected to die before the age of 80 compared with 30 percent of people without Alzheimer's — a rate twice as high.