Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of Americans every year. While many people will think that having a loved one with this disease will be like in The Notebook, that is not always the case.
Taking care of an Alzheimer’s patient is difficult and tasking, and it affects more people than you think. Here are some statistics you should know.
- An estimated 5.1 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease.
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- The incidence of the disease is rising in line with the aging population—Alzheimer’s usually affects people over 60 years old.
- Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging, but the risk of developing such illness rises with aging. Research from the National Institute on Aging notes that the increasing number of patients affected with Alzheimer’s disease doubles every five years beyond age 65.
- As the population ages, the risk of getting the disease impacts more Americans. The number of people aged 65 and older will double between 2010 and 2050 to 88.5 million—a massive 20 percent of the population. Meanwhile, people aged 85 and older will rise three-fold to 19 million—large numbers that can cost a lot for many families and the government as well.
- About a half million Americans younger than age 65 have some early-onset form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
- One to four family members act as caregivers for each person with Alzheimer’s disease.