Numbers don’t lie. Dementia is growing at an alarming rate. It is reported that a person in the United States develops Alzheimer’s every 66 seconds and by 2050, it is expected to increase, with a person being diagnosed every 33 seconds. Deaths caused by Alzheimer’s has also doubled in the last 14 years.
Why is this happening? Lack of funding.
There is currently no cure for dementia and a medical breakthrough is needed. This is done by research and that requires a great deal of funding.
The Alzheimer’s Association recently reported research findings on how the rise of dementia could eventually break the healthcare bank. We need to find a way to make Congress prioritize funding for dementia research. Dementia disrupts lives in many ways, including impacting a person’s emotional and financial well-being. This could easily lead to Medicare and Medicaid going bankrupt.
Baby boomers are reaching retirement, some are needing to enter long-term facilities and apply for benefits. It is estimated that the cost of care for people with Alzheimer’s totals $259 billion dollars. With over five million people with Alzheimer’s in the United States, Medicare and Medicaid pays around two-thirds of the healthcare costs. In fact, the Alzheimer’s Association reported that one in every five Medicare dollars is spent on some form of dementia. This is expected to grow by the year 2050 to one in every three Medicare dollars.
The annual cost of someone suffering from a form of dementia is estimated to be around $23,500. And since one in four seniors with dementia is on Medicaid, that could bankrupt the program in time. This is because Medicaid is the only public program that covers long-term nursing home stays, which is often required during the late stages of dementia.
Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and this will only continue to worsen if the lack of funding for research to find a cure continues.
But there is hope. The National Institutes of Health has tripled research funding over the past vie years. This is also the second year that Congress has approved an increase in funding for Alzheimer’s research. It is crucial that we continue to try to get additional funding to obtain more research if we want to get a step closer to finding a cure for dementia.
By reading this blog, I acknowledge that I am not creating or entering a clinical or medical relationship with Dr. DenBoer and SMART Brain Aging. I understand that all materiel included in this blog is strictly for informational purposes only. The content is to provide me with information and knowledge and I will not substitute it for diagnosis, treatment or medical advice. I am aware the author does not hold a medical degree or license and is simply providing me additional information on a variety of health topics.