Unpaid Alzheimer and Dementia Caregivers Provide $202,6 Billion In Service
Alzheimer’s Association reported this month, there are nearly 15 million unpaid caregivers supplying support and care for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s. The report was published as 2011 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures.
This number is 37% higher than previously believed last year. These caregivers are spending their own time and money caring for loved ones. The numbers are staggering when calculated. Unpaid individuals provided 17 billion hours of care valued at $202.6 billion. The number of caregivers if all relocated to their own state it would be the 5th largest state in the US.
My parents are caring for my grandmother who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The increased stress and burden is extracting a toll on them as well. The report states that people with Alzheimer’s live anywhere from four to eight years after diagnosis and some as long as 20 years. “Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers have an increased potential to develop their own serious health issues. Those complications represent a financial burden of nearly $8 billion in increased healthcare costs.”—Facts and Figures.
“Alzheimer's is the sixth-leading cause of death in the country and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.” This is a sobering fact coming from the latest 2011 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures. Especially in light of the fact that much of the care falls to family members.