We all know the impact Alzheimer's has on families across the country. Today, our sister organization, the Alzheimer’s Association, released the 2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report. This report shows in detail the growing cost and impact of Alzheimer’s on our nation’s families and economy. The 2017 Facts and Figures report provides an in-depth look at the latest national statistics and information on Alzheimer’s prevalence, incidence, use and costs of care, caregiving and mortality.

As the new report shows, for the first time, total payments exceeded a quarter trillion dollars for caring for individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. The report also includes new research on the disease’s impact on caregivers.

Highlights from the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report include:

Prevalence, Incidence and Mortality

  • An estimated 5.5 million Americans currently have Alzheimer’s.
  • Every 66 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s. By 2050, someone in the U.S. will develop the disease every 33 seconds.
  • Two-thirds of Americans over 65 with Alzheimer’s (3.3 million) are women.
  • Alzheimer’s remains the only disease among the top 10 causes of death in America that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.

Cost

  • Caring for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the United States an estimated $259 billion in 2017.
  • Medicare and Medicaid will shoulder the majority of care costs; an estimated $175 billion this year alone. This means nearly 1 in 5 Medicare dollars will be spent on someone with Alzheimer’s in 2017.
  • Average Medicare per-person payments are nearly 3 times higher for seniors with Alzheimer’s or other dementias than for seniors with no dementia while average Medicaid per-person payments are 23 times higher for those with Alzheimer’s or other dementias than for individuals without these conditions.
  • Unless something is done, the costs of Alzheimer’s to Americans in 2050 will total more than $1 trillion (in today's dollars).

Caregivers

  • More than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care in the form of physical, emotional and financial support for Americans living with Alzheimer’s.
  • Women make up two-thirds of Alzheimer’s caregivers.
  • In 2016, Alzheimer’s caregivers provided an estimated $18.2 billion hours of unpaid care.

These numbers are staggering, but we can make a difference in the fight to end Alzheimer’s by working with Congress to make Alzheimer’s a national priority.

Watch the video in the 2017 Facts and Figures report and share the facts to help raise awareness today!

Rachel Conant is the Senior Political Director of the Alzheimer's Impact Movement.