Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia continue to place tremendous pressure on family and long-term care providers, including home care support services. There is still no cure for these diseases and while there has been some positive reports with regard to research and treatment options, the long, slow, and steady progression through the disease places increased pressure on those supporting these seniors.
In 2018, it’s expected that more than $277 billion will be spent to help support and care for men and women diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. A significant portion of those funds will be for direct support and care in institutions, such as nursing homes and assisted living, while more aging seniors diagnosed with the disease are preferring to remain at home as long as possible.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association on its page, 2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures:
“An estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2018. This number includes an estimated 5.5 million people age 65 and older and approximately 200,000 individuals under age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer’s.
- One in 10 people age 65 and older (10 percent) has Alzheimer’s dementia.
- Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women.
- Older African-Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older whites.
- Hispanics are about one and one-half times as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older whites.
As the number of older Americans grows rapidly, so too will the numbers of new and existing cases of Alzheimer’s. Today, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s every 65 seconds. By mid-century, someone in the United States will develop the disease every 33 seconds.”
These numbers alone indicate that the population of aging men and women with Alzheimer’s is going to increase, dramatically so. Caring for them, keeping them safe, and also helping them maintain dignity are all concerns across the spectrum of individuals who have a vested interest in these types of services.
Home care for dementia patients will continue to be an integral component of long-term care and finding ways to deliver the highest level of support and care for them in the comfort of their home, and to find ways to reduce those costs, is going to be a pressing issue within this sector.
Home health care aides are likely to be a crucial component of cost-saving care at home and agencies that provide this level of support will be on the frontlines of the battle to help these patients remain as comfortable as possible as the disease progresses, until a cure can be found.
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