March 27

More Than 5 Million and Growing

By Meghann Giarraputo of Gardant Management Solutions

Within the most recent weeks, the Alzheimer’s Association released their 2020 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures Report.  The 2020 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures is an annual report that shares the impact of dementia on individuals living with dementia, caregivers, our government, and the nation’s healthcare system.   

There is an abundance of valuable insight within the report.  Some of the highlights within the 2020 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures Report include:

  • Currently, there are 5 million individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease across the United States. The number is projected to nearly triple by 2050— to nearly 14 million.
  • Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in America.
  • 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. Devastatingly, dementia takes more lives than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
  • 16 million Americans provide unpaid care for loved ones living with dementia. In 2020, these caregivers will provide an estimated 18.6 billion hours of care.
  • Researchers estimate that Alzheimer’s disease may begin 20 years or more before any symptoms arise.
  • Older adults living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias have more skilled nursing stays and home health visits than other older adults.
  • Medicare beneficiaries with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias are more likely to have other chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.

Cumulatively, in delving into the statistics of the five states that Gardant manages assisted living and memory care communities, the total number of individuals estimated to be living with Alzheimer’s approaches nearly 650,000 in 2020.  In 2025, the total is projected to increase to approximately 750,000. 

# of Individuals Estimated Living with Alzheimer’s in 2020

 

65 to 74

75-84

85+

Illinois

35,000

98,000

98,000

Indiana

18,000

49,000

47,000

Maryland

19,000

50,000

45,000

Virginia

26,000

69,000

59,000

West Virginia

6,900

18,000

15,000

 

# of Individuals Projected Living with Alzheimer’s in 2025

 

65 to 74

75-84

85+

Illinois

38,000

120,000

110,000

Indiana

20,000

60,000

50,000

Maryland

20,000

63,000

51,000

Virginia

29,000

89,000

68,000

West Virginia

7,400

21,000

16,000

 

Presently, there is no conclusive evidence of strategies that may prevent and/or cure Alzheimer’s disease.  As researchers gain more knowledge and understanding of Alzheimer’s, we are hopeful that will be able to prevent, slow, and/or cure Alzheimer’s disease.  Today, researchers believe that Alzheimer’s disease is likely caused by multiple factors, such as genetics, lifestyle, and the environment; scientists have acknowledged factors that increase the risk of Alzheimer’s including age, family, history, and hereditary (Alzheimer’s Association).  Although we may not be able to influence factors all factors, we can positively impact our health.  We know that there are many strategies for overall healthy aging.  Of these strategies, healthy aging may help keep the brain healthy, which is thought to reduce the risk of developing certain types of dementias.  Ways that we can maximize our health include: eating a healthy diet, staying socially active, avoiding tobacco and excess alcohol, and exercising our body and mind (Alzheimer’s Association). 

Early detection is key.  The Alzheimer’s Association offers a great resource that reviews 10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s .  If you and/or a loved one are concerned that you may be living with dementia, talk to someone that you trust such as a family member or friend.  Schedule an appointment to see a physician.  Early diagnosis allows an opportunity to plan, seek out resources, and explore medications that may address varying symptoms. In addition to reaching out to any of our managed memory care communities anytime, you can also call the Alzheimer’s Association Helpline at 800.272.3900—this line is available 24/7. 

Now, I encourage you to share the facts and join us as we fight Alzheimer’s disease along with all other dementias!

Meghann Giarraputo is a Certified Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Trainer, Certified Dementia Care Practitioner, and Certified Montessori Dementia Care Professional.

Gardant operates memory care communities in Huntley, McHenry and South Elgin, Illinois; Noblesville, Indiana; Berlin, Maryland; and Williamsburg, Virginia. To learn more and to access contact information for Gardant-managed senior living, assisted living, and memory care communities, visit https://www.gardant.com/locate-a-community/.

2 Comments

  • Greg Hill says:

    I live a block away from your Plainfield, IN facility. Wife is having some Alzheimer’s issues. We are both 68 and on Medicare. I am very active and have a couple of part time jobs I enjoy.

    I fear your Clearwater Creek unit will be unaffordable. Need info emailed to glh224@gmail.com

    Thanks!

    • Megan Altmyer says:

      Someone from the community will be reaching out to you. Thanks.

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