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Alzheimer's Association releases 2020 Facts & Figures Report

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Alzheimer’s Association recently released its 2020 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report, which provides an in-depth look at the latest statistics and information on Alzheimer’s prevalence, incidence, mortality, costs of care and impact on caregivers across the country and in Texas.

One of the biggest takeaways from this year’s report, according to the Alzheimer's Association, is that the Alzheimer’s burden in the country and Texas continues to grow.

  • More people are living with the disease – An estimated 5.8 million Americans age 65 and older have Alzheimer’s dementia in 2020, including  400,000 in Texas.
  • More family and friends are serving as Alzheimer’s caregivers – In Texas, 1,449,000 caregivers provided a total of 1,650,000,000 hours of unpaid care, valued at a total of $21,628,000,000.
  • Death rates from Alzheimer’s continue to climb – Deaths due to Alzheimer’s have increased an alarming 146 percent since 2000, while deaths for other major diseases remained flat or decreased. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. And, the fifth-leading cause of death for people 65 and older and of women of any age.
  • The costs are unsustainable – For the fourth consecutive year the cost of caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s is surpassing a quarter of a trillion dollars. Here in Texas the Medicaid costs of caring for people with Alzheimer’s is estimated at $3.202 billion. These costs are projected to increase by 23.3% over the next 5 years. 

Additionally, this year’s special report examines primary care physicians’ and the medical profession’s readiness to meet the growing demands for dementia care in America. The report found that 82% of PCPs say they are on the front lines of providing dementia care, but not all are confident in their care for patients with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. 

  • Nearly 2 in 5 (39%) report they are “never” or only “sometimes comfortable” making a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
  • Nearly one-third (27%) report they are “never” or only “sometimes comfortable” answering patient questions about Alzheimer’s or other dementias. 
  • 22% of all PCPs had no residency training in dementia diagnosis and care. Of the 78% who did undergo training, 65% reported that the amount was “very little.”

“The perspectives of primary care physicians raise an important alarm regarding the current reality and future of dementia care in this country,” said Joanne Pike, Dr.P.H., chief program officer, Alzheimer’s Association. “The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is increasing and primary care physicians, who are the front line of providing care, are telling us the medical profession is not prepared to meet the future demand. The Alzheimer’s Association is committed to working with physicians, health systems, policymakers and others to develop strategies and solutions that ensure timely, high-quality dementia care is available for all who need it.”

The Alzheimer's Association leads the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Their vision is a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia. For more information, visit the Alzheimer's Association's website or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900.

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