Generation Alzheimer’s: The Defining Disease of Baby Boomers.
This is one of the scary headlines I read recently about my generation. As baby boomers start turning 65, the numbers of people with Alzheimer’s will start growing in leaps and bounds with an estimated total of 10 million being affected. That’s twice as many as the current total of Americans with this disease.
This isn’t just another case of a narcissistic baby boomer. The costs will end up burdening all of us.
Costs of Alzheimer’s
The U.S. spends $172 billion annually caring for people with Alzheimer’s, but this is projected to be $1 trillion by 2050 without inflation built in due to the vast increase in cases. Half of this money comes from Medicare and accounts for more than one out of every six Medicare dollars.
The rest of the money comes from the patient or their families. Estates will be eaten up by the cost of care.
There’s also the cost of uncompensated care. Last year, friends and family provided 12.5 billion hours of unpaid care. This can go on for years and severely impacts the financial status of the caregivers and their health.
Fighting Alzheimer’s Disease
This is the only disease in the top 10 causes of death that doesn’t have any way to prevent, stop the progression or cure it. The government’s commitment to other diseases (cancer, heart disease, etc.) have led to significant breakthroughs and decreased rates of death.
It’s a tough time to ask for government funding, but this disease is going to have a significant impact financially in the next 40 years and it’s time to get proactive. In the future, baby boomers should be remembered for more than this devastating disease.
If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, visit the Alzheimer’s Association which is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research.