One-Third Of Seniors Die From…

    A senior couple smiling, the man sitting on a sofa, and the woman standing over him with her arms wrapped around himA new report showing one in three older adults dies with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is raising concerns about the disease’s “pervasive” scope and the spiraling costs of care, a new study finds.

    Deaths from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia have increased 68% from 2000 to 2010, according to the report being released today by the Alzheimer’s Association, an advocacy group. Meanwhile, deaths from heart disease, HIV/AIDS and stroke have declined. The numbers are taken from Medicare and Medicaid reports.

    “Urgent, meaningful action is needed, particularly as more and more people age into greater risk for developing the disease,” says Harry Johns, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association.

    The report says dementia is the second-largest contributor to death, after heart failure. Other findings:

    Payments for health care, long-term care, and hospice care are expected to increase from $203 billion to $1.2 trillion by 2050 for patients ages 65 and older.

    Medicare costs for an older person with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia are nearly three times higher than for seniors without dementia. Medicaid payments are 19 times higher.

    The stress on caregivers is estimated to result in the more than $9 billion in increased health care costs.

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