March 19, 2013
The Alzheimer's Association released a new report today about the disease that affects more than 5,000,000 Americans nation-wide.
It's the 6th leading cause of death in the United State and here in the commonweath, more than 130,000 people are living with it.
Alzheimer's disease can not be prevented or cured and families with relatives affected by the disease are also feeling the burden.
"One in six caregivers lives more than an hour away from the person that they are taking care of," says Sue Friedman from the Central Virginia Alzheimer's Association. "It takes their time and their money and certainly a lot of resources to do this long distance care giving."
According to the report, total payments for health and long-term care services for people with the disease will total 203 billion dollars in 2013 and about one in three seniors will die with alzheimer's or another type of dementia.
Michael Bowers from the RoseWood Village Assissted Living center explained their "Memory Care" program.
"We establish activities and programs here as a way to prevent settle these behaviors by medicating," says Bowers. "If they can sort of stay out of their own neighborhood and stay active and engaged and just have that correspondence with another individual it kind of keeps the affects of demintia lessened."
WIthout medical breakthroughs that prevent or slow the disease, the number of Americans with Alzheimer's could increase to 13.8 million by the year 2050.