On Tuesday, March 5, the Alzheimer’s Association released its 2019 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, which provides an in-depth look at the latest statistics and information on Alzheimer’s prevalence, incidence, mortality, costs of care and impact on caregivers across the country and in California. It also reveals an important health assessment seniors are not getting – one that is critical for early detection of Alzheimer’s and other dementias – routine cognitive assessments. You can see the full report at alz.org/facts.
One of the biggest takeaways from this year’s report is that the Alzheimer’s burden in this country and state continues to grow.
More people are living with disease – An estimated 5.8 million Americans have Alzheimer’s dementia in 2019, including 670,000 in California.
More family and friends are serving as Alzheimer’s caregivers – In California, 1.6 million caregivers provided a total of 1.8 billion hours of unpaid care, valued at a total of $23 billion.
Death rates from Alzheimer’s continue to climb – Deaths due to Alzheimer’s have increased an alarming 145 percent since 2000, while deaths for most other major diseases have decreased. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.
The costs are unsustainable – For the third consecutive year the cost of caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s is surpassing a quarter of a trillion dollars. The costs to care for people with Alzheimer’s are expected to amount to $4 billion in California in 2019 – and are only expected to grow by 32% percent over the next six years (by 2025).
Additionally, this year’s special report highlights an important disconnect: despite a strong belief among seniors that cognitive assessments are important and that early detection is beneficial, only half are being assessed for cognitive decline, and just one in seven seniors (16 percent) receive regular assessments for memory or thinking issues during routine health checkups, compared to other common evaluations like cholesterol (83 percent), hearing or vision (73 percent), and diabetes (66 percent).
The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. It is the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research. The Association’s mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Its vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association California Central Chapter is headquartered in Santa Barbara with regional offices located in San Luis Obispo and Ventura Counties. Visit www.alz.org/CACentralCoast or call 805.892.4259 for more information.