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Rewind: Alzheimer’s Disease Will Claim One in Eight Baby Boomers

April 14, 2011

My regular readers know my mom is in the early stages of Alzheimers and my grandmother, her mother, also had the disease. It is critical that we continue private and government funded research to help develop therapies. It is also one more reason Medicare and Medicaid should be strengthened and not privatized. I would be more that willing to pay a few dollars more per month to support these programs.

March 18 (Bloomberg) — Alzheimer’s disease will claim about one in eight baby boomers in their lifetime, or about 10 million Americans, a new report suggests.

Medicare spending for Alzheimer’s will jump to $38 billion in 2025, when those born between 1946 and 1964 start to reach the median age for nursing home admission, according to the Chicago-based Alzheimer’s Association, which releases its yearly report today. That compares with a Medicare outlay of about $21 billion in 2005, the group said.

Unless new treatments are developed, the time and out-of- pocket costs for family caregivers will increase as well, the group said. Karen Holland, whose husband Edward doesn’t always remember who she is, said she knows how confusing it’s been for him, and difficult for her. Holland, born in 1947, says her fellow baby boomers aren’t ready for what’s coming.

“I think that in baby boomers, there’s a lot of denial,” said Holland, who works at the association’s New York City chapter. “It’s the same problem with people not wanting to do wills because you don’t want to think about that.”

Holland and others say more research is needed on the condition, and that families should prepare themselves better as her generation gets older. The report said 7.7 million people will have Alzheimer’s by 2030, a 48 percent rise from 2008, and lists the prevalence of the disease by state, the number of caregivers, the hours of unpaid work watching patients and the costs of health care for Alzheimer’s patients.

By 2010, Alaska and Colorado will record a 47 percent rise in cases from 2000, the biggest jump among states, the report said. Wyoming is next with a 43 percent rise.

Read entire Bloomberg article, click here


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