There are currently 5.3 million people in the United States living with Alzheimer’s disease, of which an estimated 200,000 are under the age of 65.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are at minimum an additional five million memory-impaired elderly who could benefit from specialized treatment and/or programming.
Of American’s aged 65 and older, 1 in 9 has Alzheimer’s; 1 in 3 people aged 85 and older have the disease.
Another American develops Alzheimer’s disease every 67 seconds. In 2050, an American will develop the disease every 33 seconds and unless something is done, Alzheimer’s will cost an estimated $1.2 trillion in this country alone.
It is widely accepted that the entire scientific, technological and political framework for Alzheimer’s care needs to be reassessed in a sensitive and ethical way, to better serve residents and families and help individuals maximize their quality of life as they move along the path of cognitive aging.
Most experts agree that Alzheimer’s, like most other common chronic diseases, probably develops as a result of multiple factors rather than a single cause.
Those who have a parent, brother, sister or child with Alzheimer’s are more likely to develop the disease.
More women than men have Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Two-thirds of all Americans living with Alzheimer’s are women, which is primarily explained by the fact that women live longer than men. Women are not, however, more likely than men to develop dementia at any given age.
People with fewer years of education appear to be at higher risk.
Older African-Americans and Hispanics are proportionately more likely than older Caucasians to have Alzheimer’s. There is evidence to show that missed diagnoses are also more common among older African-Americans and Hispanics.
Additionally, there may be a strong link between serious head injury and future risk of Alzheimer’s.