CLEVELAND - A new report from the Alzheimer’s Association shows the impact of Alzheimer’s disease among families in Northeast Ohio is growing.
According to the 2011 Facts and Figures report, the number of Ohioans with Alzheimer’s has grown 15 percent in the last 10 years. It’s an increase that is expected to put a strain on both government budgets and the families of those affected by the disease.
“Alzheimer’s is a significant threat not only for the nation – but also for the people of Ohio,” said Nancy Udelson, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association, Cleveland Area Chapter in a press release. “With a rapidly aging population at increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s and the number of caregivers growing each year, it will become increasingly important for states to be prepared with support services for people at all stages of the disease.”
Later this month, Alzheimer’s Association chapters will join forces for Ohio’s Memory Day 2011, which will take place on Tuesday, March 29 in Columbus at the Statehouse Atrium at 11:30 a.m.
Alzheimer’s advocates will meet with legislators to discuss funding of programs, research efforts, financing long-term care, expanded dementia-capable home and community based services.
Residents of Northeast Ohio are invited to join the association’s local chapter--transportation will be provided from Cleveland to Columbus. Those interested in travelling to Columbus can contact Lauren Tortorici at 216-231-1484.
Here are some of the highlights of the 2011 Facts and Figures report:
• There are 230,000 people in Ohio living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Most notably, the report shows the significant increase in the number of caregivers supporting those with the disease, often at a tremendous individual cost to them. In 2010, caregivers provided more than 666.5 million hours of unpaid care valued at $7.9 billion.
• Ohio joins eight other states with the highest unpaid caregiver contributions in the country at $6 billion or more.
• Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death and the only cause of death among the top 10 causes in America without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression.
• Most people survive an average of four to eight years after a diagnosis, but many can live as long as 20 years with the disease. This prolonged duration often places increasingly intensive care demands on family members and friends who provide care.
• Most caregivers are family members who take on a tremendous financial, physical and emotional burden to help care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia.
• Medicaid covers nursing home care and other long-term care services in the community for individuals who can no longer afford to pay for long-term care expenses. Ensuring access to Medicaid for those who need it must remain a priority for states as they deal with the escalating Alzheimer crisis.
• Average per-person Medicaid payments for beneficiaries aged 65 and older with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are nine times higher than Medicaid payments for those without the disease. While Medicaid costs are $37 billion today they will climb almost 400 percent by 2050.
• At a time when a number of states are facing tremendous budget challenges, the growing Alzheimer’s population will strain state budgets further.
• Alzheimer’s has profound implications for future state budgets, and states must prepare now to address the multiple and complex challenges that Alzheimer’s poses to individuals, families and state governments, particularly Medicaid.
• While only 4 percent of the general population will be admitted to a nursing home by age 80, for people with Alzheimer’s, 75 percent will admitted to a nursing home, posing significant economic challenges to state Medicaid budgets.
• More than half of the states in the country have developed or are in the process of developing state plans, including Ohio. These plans will be instrumental in assessing the current impact of Alzheimer’s on Ohio and outlining what steps Ohio lawmakers must take in the coming years to improve its services and support to Alzheimer’s families.
The full report can be viewed at www.alz.org .
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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