Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, an annual report released by the Alzheimer’s Association, reveals the burden of Alzheimer’s and dementia on individuals, caregivers, government and the nation’s health care system.
The accompanying special report, More Than Normal Aging: Understanding Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), examines the challenges that physicians and the American public face in understanding and diagnosing mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which is characterized by subtle changes in memory and thinking. It is estimated 10% to 15% of individuals with MCI go on to develop dementia each year.
Impact on Caregivers
Eighty-three percent of the help provided to older adults in the United States comes from family members, friends or other unpaid caregivers. Nearly half of all caregivers who provide help to older adults do so for someone living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
Who are the caregivers?
- About 30% of caregivers are age 65 or older.
- Approximately two-thirds of caregivers are women; more specifically, over one-third of dementia caregivers are daughters.
- Most caregivers (66%) live with the person with dementia in the community.
- Approximately one-quarter of dementia caregivers are “sandwich generation” caregivers — meaning that they care not only for an aging parent but also for at least one child.
Alzheimer’s takes a devastating toll on caregivers. Compared with caregivers of people without dementia, twice as many caregivers of those with dementia indicate substantial emotional, financial and physical difficulties.
Of the total lifetime cost of caring for someone with dementia, 70% is borne by families — either through out-of-pocket health and long-term care expenses or from the value of unpaid care.
We hope this information is helpful to you in the important work you do as a family caregiver.
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