March 8, 2012
Every 68 seconds someone develops Alzheimer's Disease, according to a new report released by the Alzheimer's Association on Thursday. As many as 130,000 people are living with the disease in Virginia.
The report, 2012 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures, estimates that 5.4 million Americans have the memory-robbing disease. That number is expected to climb to 16 million by 2050.
While the number of people diagnosed continues to rise, so will costs associated with care. The United States will spend nearly $200 billion dollars this year on Alzheimer's Disease. Medicare and Medicaid will pay for more than two-thirds of the cost.
"Caring for Alzheimer's is a 24/7 job," said Sue Friedman, president/CEO of the Central and Western Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. "One must be in a secure facility with extra staffing and additional operational requirements. It's not an inexpensive endeavor at all."
Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. It's the only cause of death in the top ten that can't be prevented, cured, or even slowed.
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