Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease – Facts & Figures

So far we’ve not spent much time covering technologies that can help with dementia, but we discovered this informative YouTube video explaining what Alzheimer’s disease is, the most common form of dementia.

For more statistics and information about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, see the Alzheimer’s Association’s 66 page 2011 Alzheimer’s Disease Fact and Figures.

Dementia is the loss of cognitive ability beyond what is expected from normal aging. It can result from a brain injury or progressive and long-term decline due to disease. Symptom areas may include loss of memory, attention, language, and problem solving, and affected persons may become disoriented in time (not knowing the date, day, month or year), place (not knowing where they are), and person (not knowing who they are or others around them). Though sometimes treatable to some degree, dementia is usually due to causes that are progressive and incurable, such as Alzheimer’s.

  • Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia by far.
  • Every 69 seconds, someone in America develops Alzheimer’s, and that rate is increasing as people live longer and with Boomer demographics.
  • Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death across all ages in the U.S. It’s 5th for those aged 65 and up. And it’s getting worse (up 66%), unlike breast cancer (-3%), prostate cancer (-8%), heart disease (-13%), stroke (-20%), and HIV (-29%). [between 2000 & 2008]
  • 5.4 million Americans ( 1 in 8 ) have Alzheimer’s disease, including 5.2 M aged 65 and over.
  • 3.4 million of them are women, and 1.8 M are men, but that’s largely because women live longer.
  • Nearly half of people 85 and older have Alzheimer’s disease. That’s 43%.
  • People with less education appear to be at higher risk for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
  • In 2010, some 6 million Americans were 85 years and older; by 2050 that number will nearly quadruple to 21 million, and 3.5 M people 85 and older will have Alzheimer’s.
  • 80% of care is provided at home and delivered by family caregivers. That’s 14.9 million unpaid caregivers, and there’s been an impact on work and family life. [Technology solutions can help relieve the burden.]
  • $183 Billion dollars are spent caring for people with Alzheimer’s today. As the number of people inflicted grows, the costs will increase dramatically – to about $1.1 Trillion by 2050.
  • Nearly half of people with dementia have never been diagnosed, meaning the problem may be larger than shown.

See also: Don’t Just Blame Dementia and Wanderers welcome: New technologies for resident safety.

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