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  • Writer's picturePatricia Faust

Boomers and the Alzheimer's Crisis Part One: The Alzheimer's Crisis



In 2015, I started the My Boomer Brain blog.  One of my very first blogs was about the Elephant in the Room – Alzheimer’s disease.  Alzheimer’s and other dementias were my focus of study while I was getting my master’s degree in gerontology.  For the ten years prior to my going back to school, I had worked with physical and occupational therapists who were addressing the physical disabilities of later-stage Alzheimer’s.  The landscape of care was so different then and I was appalled at what I saw.  The behaviors and physical demands of those with late-stage Alzheimer’s and dementia were difficult for caregivers.  In the 1990’s there were no memory care units; they were lock-down units

When I wrote that blog, I was trying to get the point across that Alzheimer’s was already a catastrophic problem.  The numbers were growing every day, there was no viable cure or treatment, and the financial cost of care was already skyrocketing.  When I attended national conferences, we professionals in the field, all knew there was an overwhelming problem headed our way.  At that time, we talked about Alzheimer’s as the elephant in the room.  We all knew what was happening but there was no action taking place to prepare for what was to come. Now the elephant has walked all over us and stomped out of the room. 

The 2024 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures detailed the latest statistics and information about the state of Alzheimer’s in 2024 and the projections for 2050.  It is estimated that there are 7 million Americans with Alzheimer’s this year.  The cost of care is 360 billion dollars!

The projections for the disease in 2050 are out of this world!  It is estimated that 13 million people will have Alzheimer’s in 2050.  That is nearly twice the number of Americans who have the disease this year.  The costs of Alzheimer’s and other dementias will skyrocket over the next 25 years.  In 2050 it will cost the nation a whopping 1 trillion dollars to care for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias!

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to explain these astronomical numbers.  The boomers are now passing the age of 70 to the tune of 10,000 per day!  Age is a nonmodifiable risk factor for dementia.  The older you get, the higher your risk of getting the disease.  Longevity also plays a role in this crisis.  There is still no pill or secret sauce that will cure Alzheimer’s.  The cost of care increases exponentially the longer someone lives with the disease.   There are approximately 76 million boomers alive in the United States today.  This is a numbers game now and the results are frightening.

This crisis hasn’t gone unnoticed.  Fundraising for research, education, and caregiving is a priority for the Alzheimer’s Association.  Last year they were able to raise 100 million dollars.  They are actively working with legislators in Washington to receive increased funding for research, and their efforts are paying off!  However, is this still too little, too late for the boomers?


 

 

The release of The Boomer Brain on Amazon is very close. Feel free to message me or send me your email if you want the first notification of the release date.

 

 

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