Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health
Senior Women Are Epicenter of Alzheimer’s as Most
Likely Victims, Care Givers
Alzheimer’s Association reports senior women
twice as likely as men to get Alzheimer’s; twice as likely to get AD as
19, 2014 – Women are the “epicenter of
Alzheimer’s disease” according to a new report from the Alzheimer’s
Association that finds senior women at age 65 almost twice as likely as
senior men to develop the disease. And, women in their 60s are about
twice as likely to get AD in older age as they are breast cancer. But,
that is not all of the burden for women: they about 2.5 times more
likely than men to provide full-time care for AD victims.
“Through our role in the development of The
Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s in 2010,
in conjunction with Maria Shriver, we know that women are the
epicenter of Alzheimer’s disease, representing majority of both people
with the disease and Alzheimer’s caregivers. Alzheimer’s Association
Facts and Figures examines the impact of this unbalanced burden,”
said Angela Geiger, Chief Strategy Officer of the Alzheimer’s
“Well-deserved investments in breast cancer and
other leading causes of death such as heart disease, stroke and HIV/AIDS
have resulted in substantial decreases in death. Comparable investments
are now needed to realize the same success with Alzheimer’s in
preventing and treating the disease.”
The new facts are in the Alzheimer's Association
2014 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report released
The strain of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s
is also felt in the workplace. Among caregivers who have been employed
while they were also caregiving:
• 20% of women vs. 3% of men went from working
full-time to working part-time while acting as a caregiver.
• 18% of women vs. 11% of men took a leave of
• 11% of women vs. 5% of men gave up work entirely
• 10% of women vs. 5% of men lost job benefits
The research points out there are 2.5 times as many
women than men providing intensive “on- duty” care 24 hours for someone
living with Alzheimer’s disease. Among caregivers who feel isolated,
women are much more likely than men to link isolation with feeling
depressed (17% of women vs. 2% of men).
Human and Financial Toll of Alzheimer’s
There are more than 5 million Americans living with
Alzheimer’s disease, including 3.2 million women and 200,000 people
under the age of 65 with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease, but
Alzheimer’s has far reaching effects that can plague entire families.
There are currently 15.5 million caregivers
providing 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care in the U.S., often at the
detriment of their own health. The physical and emotional impact of
dementia caregiving resulted in an estimated $9.3 billion in increased
healthcare costs for Alzheimer’s caregivers in 2013.
The total national cost of caring for people with
Alzheimer’s and other dementias is projected to reach $214 billion this
year, not including unpaid caregiving by family and friends
valued at more than $220 billion.
In 2014, the cost to Medicare and Medicaid of
caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias will reach a
combined $150 billion with Medicare spending nearly $1 in every $5 on
people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
These numbers are set to soar as the baby boomers
continue to enter the age of greatest risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Unless something is done to change the course of the disease, there
could be as many as 16 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s in
2050, at a cost of $1.2 trillion (in current dollars) to the nation.
This dramatic rise includes a 500% increase in
combined Medicare and Medicaid spending and a 400% increase in out-
of-pocket spending. The country’s first-ever National Plan to Address
Alzheimer’s Disease has a goal of preventing and effectively
treating Alzheimer’s disease by 2025. Ensuring strong implementation of
the National Alzheimer’s Plan, including adequately funding Alzheimer’s
research, is the best way to avoid these staggering human and financial
Lack of Understanding of the Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of
death in the United States, yet it is still widely misunderstood and
underreported. Nearly a quarter (24%) of both men and women agree with
the mistaken belief that Alzheimer’s must run in their family for them
to be at risk. When looking at certain ethnic groups, these numbers were
even higher. A third of Latinos (33%) and almost half of Asians (45%)
agreed with that incorrect statement.
“Despite being the nation’s biggest health threat,
Alzheimer’s disease is still largely misunderstood. Everyone with a
brain – male or female, family history or not – is at risk for
Alzheimer’s,” said Geiger. “Age is the greatest risk factor for
Alzheimer’s, and America is aging. As a nation, we must band together to
protect our greatest asset, our brains.”
In 2010, the Alzheimer’s Association in partnership
with Maria Shriver and The Shriver Report conducted a groundbreaking
poll with the goal of exploring the compelling connection between
Alzheimer’s disease and women. Data from that poll were published in
The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s, which
also included essays and reflections that gave personal perspectives to
the poll’s numbers. For the first time, that report revealed not only
the striking impact of the disease on individual lives, but also its
especially strong effects on women - women living with the disease, as
well as women who are caregivers, relatives, friends and loved ones of
those directly affected.
Realizing the impact Alzheimer’s has on women – and
the impact women can have when they work together – the Alzheimer’s
Association is launching a national initiative this spring highlighting
the power of women in the fight against this disease. For more
The full text of the Alzheimer's Association
Facts and Figures can be viewed at
www.alz.org. The full report will also appear in the March 2014
issue of Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s
Association (Volume 10, Issue 2).
Alzheimer’s Association Alzheimer’s Disease
Facts and Figures
The Alzheimer's Association Alzheimer's Disease
Facts and Figures report is a comprehensive compilation of national
statistics and information on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
The report conveys the impact of Alzheimer’s on individuals, families,
government and the nation’s health care system. Since its 2007 inaugural
release, the report has become the most cited source covering the broad
spectrum of Alzheimer’s issues. Facts and Figures report is an
official publication of the Alzheimer’s Association.
The Alzheimer's Association is the world’s leading
voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement
of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected;
and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain
health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. For more information,
>> Breast cancer data:
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