Mar 14, 2015

The Staggering Cost of Alzheimer's

This interesting report marks first time economic impact of Alzheimer's disease is being quantified on a local level.

I just finished reading a well written, fascinating, and scary article in U~T San Diego - Alzheimer's $27 billion toll in county.

The Staggering Costs of Alzheimer's | Alzheimer's Reading Room

Wow, $27 billion for one county with approximately 60,000 persons living with Alzheimer's. Yikes.

I extracted out some of the more interesting facts presented in the article.

By Bob DeMarco
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

  • Nationally, the direct economic costs of medical care due to Alzheimer’s in 2010 was $109 billion, which exceeded the costs associated with cancer or heart disease (at $107 billion and $102 billion respectively).
Note: only $500 million dollars is being spent on Alzheimer's disease research. Yet, the cost of treating Alzheimer's patients is greater than treating heart patients or treating cancer patients. Already! Does this make sense?

  • In 2012, there were 16,897 hospitalizations in which Alzheimer’s or other dementias was the principal or secondary diagnosis, for a total cost of $886 million. And an estimated 136,800 San Diegans provided 156 million hours of unpaid care, worth approximately $1.94 billion.
  • The report found that in 2012, the average charge for a single hospital stay for a person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s was $52,412, the average length of stay was 9.4 days and two in five hospitalizations resulted in the patient transferred to a skilled nursing or intermediate care facility, increasing the cost further.
  • In 2012, the top three reasons for hospitalizations among San Diegans age 55 years and older with (a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias) were septicemia (infection resulting from the presence of bacteria in the blood), urinary tract infections and pneumonia.
Like I mentioned, this is a really a well written, thought provoking, article.

For example, we have about the same number of Alzheimer's patients here in Palm Beach county, Florida, where I live. So here locally we will be confronted with a similar situation.

And the costs are rising.

I would recommend that you read the article; and then, send the url to your local politicians. Here is the url to read, and then copy and send if you care to do so.

I also found this report very interesting - The Economic Burden of Alzheimer's and other Dementias in San Diego County.

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Bob DeMarco  is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized expert, writer, speaker, and influencer in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community worldwide. The ARR Knowledge Base contains more than 4,900 articles and 368,000 links. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.
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