Monday, March 12, 2012

The High Cost of Alzheimer’s Disease

The latest Alzheimer’s Association Fact Sheet gives hard data about the high cost of living with Alzheimer’s disease. The Fact Sheet begins with the statement:  The graying of America means the bankrupting of America – and Alzheimer’s is a major reason why.

In 2012, caring for Alzheimer’s will cost $200 billion. Medicare and Medicaid take the brunt of these costs. Medicare bears the largest share, $104.5 billion, and Medicaid is in second place with $35.5 billion.

Those who have a loved one with an Alzheimer’s type of dementia know that although the government looks like the biggest loser on paper, families take a harder hit with both emotional and financial tolls.

More than 15 million caregivers provide 17 billion hours worth of unpaid caregiving. The monetary value of this caregiving is $210 billion—the emotional cost cannot be measured.

Alzheimer’s is not just an expensive disease; it is costly. The highest costs are not in dollars, but in broken relationships as families and caregivers adjust to a new reality.

As hard as it is to provide care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, 60 percent of caregivers find emotional stress to be the hardest part of caregivng. A third of caregivers report being depressed. Alzheimer’s caregivers have increased health problems directly related to being a caregiver. Nationally, this translates into an additional $7.8 billion health care costs for the caregiver.

Have you hugged a caregiver today? Better yet, have you offered help, and meant it? I’m not talking about “If there’s anything I can do…” without following up to find out what you really can do to help. I’m referring to watching a loved one for a few hours to relieve the primary caregiver. Family members should work out a schedule so that each member can contribute to the wellbeing of both the caregiver and the person with dementia.

A woman I met a few years ago thought it was totally her dad’s responsibility to look after her mother. After all, he was the one who promised to care for her “in sickness and in health.” She stubbornly refused to help her dad. To be perfectly honest, I felt like shaking her, but instead I encouraged her to take on more responsibility for her mother’s care. She did finally help after her dad was hospitalized from the stress of caring for his wife.

I’ve seen families pull together for the good of the person with Alzheimer’s. It takes more than one person to provide 24-hour-a-day care. I was lucky that Jim’s family, my family, and our family were available and willing to help. I could not possibly have kept Jim home as long as I did without this family support.

Not all families work as a team, some are shattered by arguments over caregiving, or even whether their family member has dementia. Denial is common and it is hard to acknowledge that someone you love could have a disease that could erase memories.
No matter how drastically a person with dementia may change, they can still feel your love. As hard as being a caregiver is, and although it may seem a thankless job at times, your reward comes from knowing that you’ve done your very best. That is something that will stick with you long after your loved one is gone, and you can look back with no regrets.

Copyright © March 2012 by L.S. Fisher


Term Papers said...

Good Article About "The High Cost of Alzheimer’s Disease"

Post by
Term Papers

hshields said...

It is time for the public to be told the truth:

Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and sporadic Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (sCJD)
are sister prion diseases, transmissible, infectious by medical
equipment, (scopes, etc.) dental and eye equipment, blood, urine, feces,
saliva, mucous (aerosols: possibly by coughs & sneezes) Doctors
frequently misdiagnose AD and sCJD one for the other. The symptoms and
neuropathology are almost identifical.

Right now the US is in the middle of a raging, always fatal, prion
disease epidemic: There are over 6 million victims of AD and 1 million
Parkinson's Disease victims, with a new AD case every 69 seconds !

Recent research (October 2011) by Dr. Claudio Soto, et al, University of
Texas Medical School, has confirmed earlier research which found
injecting Alzheimer's brain material into mice brains caused infectious
prion disease.
See Video - Dr. Soto on Alzheimer's disease and prions:

"Could Alzheimer's be infectious? "

SEE reply posted by:
Dr. Murray Waldman, coroner for the city of Toronto, Canada:
"In answer to the question how would Alzheimer’s (AD) be transmitted, I
have written a book “Dying For A Hamburger” that hypothesizes that AD is
spread by how we in North America and Europe feed and process meat,
mainly beef.
If you study the rates of AD and its geographical distribution, you will
find that rates start to soar when a country becomes meat eating (i.e.
Japan and Korea in the 1960s) and rises even faster when it adopts a
fast food culture (the US and Western Europe in the 50s and 60s) and
remains low in vegetarian countries (India) and those without a
processed meat industry or fast foods (equatorial Africa)…Murray "

Scientists agree variant Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (vCJD) is caused by eating prion tainted beef.
Many believe sporadic CJD/aka Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is also caused by eating prion contaminated meat e.g. BSE -Mad cow and CWD - Chronic Wasting Disease
(deer, elk, moose, etc.)

Excerpt: PAGE 143 - Dr. Murray Waldman: "HOW DANGEROUS ARE PRIONS?

"The degree of infectivity in tissues such as brain is
staggering. In experimental animals, one gram (about
one-thirtieth of an ounce) of brain contains an amount of
prions sufficient to infect well over one billion

See VIDEO Interview –Mad Cow and Misdiagnosed Alzheimer’s Disease

Interview with Dr. Colm Kelleher author of “Brain Trust:The Hidden Connection Between Mad Cow and Misdiagnosed Alzheimer’s Disease” recorded November 16, 2004. video about 1 hour long – well worth the time

Prion diseases may also be caused by modern meat packing practices where by " a typical burger patty is packed with the meat and fat of 50 to 100 cattle from multiple states and two to four countries.

Alzheimer Clinic said...

As an Alzheimer's caregiver, you are compassionate, supportive and intuitive.

Alzheimer Clinic