We’ve always known that Alzheimer’s disease is expensive. It costs families precious time with their loved ones. It costs people their lives.
But the costs to Medicare and Medicaid are also devastating. This morning, we released Changing the Trajectory of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias: A National Imperative. a report that examines how in the absence of disease-modifying treatments, the cumulative costs of care for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias from 2010 to 2050 will exceed $20 trillion. ($20 trillion dollars is enough to pay off the entire U.S. federal debt and send a check to every man, woman and child in America with additional money left over .)
The report also reveals that the number of Americans age 65 and older who have Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia will increase from 5.1 million to 13.5 million by mid-century. Our nation is woefully unprepared for this accelerating epidemic.
That’s why we continue to call on Congress to pass the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (S.3036/H.R. 4689). A coordinated, strategic, national approach is the only way to confront this problem. Go to http://www.alz.org/trajectory to get involved.
While many other countries have already developed plans, the United States is lagging behind. Australia, Canada, Cyprus, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea and Sweden all have national plans. It’s time for us to catch up.