ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE (AD) IS AN EPIDEMIC WHICH EFFECTS THREE
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Alzheimer’s disease currently affects 5.1 million Americans and is expected to affect more than 20 million by 2050. Presently, 1 in 8 adults over the age of 65 suffers from some form of dementia and by age 80 the ratio jumps to nearly 1 in 2. The 2009 NAC/AARP survey on caregiving in the United States found that 30% of family and other unpaid caregivers of people with AD and other dementias had children or grandchildren under age 18 living at home.
AD IS A LONELY DISEASE.
As a result of short term memory impairment, sufferers often feel isolated and alone. And often, their young grandchildren are at a loss for how to communicate with them, widening the generation gap even further and bringing even more stress into the family dynamic.
AD IS ONE OF THE MOST EXPENSIVE ILLNESSES IN THE WORLD.
According to the Alzheimerʼs Association, the economic cost of AD is over $200 billion annually and could triple in coming decades. This, according to the Alzheimerʼs Drug Discovery Foundation, makes AD the third most costly disease after heart disease and cancer. Families are currently paying approximately 60% of that cost.
AD IS GROWING RAPIDLY.
Every 70 seconds, someone in America develops AD and
in 2011, as 78 million baby boomers turn 65 the numbers are escalating dramatically. The number of Americans that die each year from AD has risen 66 percent since 2000. Death rates for other major diseases – HIV, stroke, heart disease, prostate cancer, breast cancer – are, according to Alzheimerʼs Association Research, declining. AD is the only top 10 cause of death without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression.
AD RESEARCH IS SIGNIFICANTLY UNDERFUNDED.
According to Alzheimerʼs Association research, The National Institutes of Health spends over $6 billion a year on cancer research, over $4 billion on heart disease research and over $3 billion on HIV/AIDS research. It spends only $480 million on AD research.