Senior Center

Alzheimer’s Said to Triple in Baby Boomers

By Daniel @ LivingSenior - May 18, 2013

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Baby boomers are dealing with a variety of illnesses due to the environment they grew up in, including unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking, drinking, drugs and unhealthy diet. Another thing they will need to be concerned about is memory loss and Alzheimer’s more specifically. Unlike other illnesses plaguing baby boomers, Alzheimer’s can’t be prevented or cured.

By year 2050, Alzheimer’s is expected to triple in seniors and baby boomers, which will be approximately 13.8 million people in the US. Baby boomers are the generation where the rise will begin to take place and many of them have Alzheimer’s disease as one of their greatest fears.

This is opening up research for newer development and treatments for Alzheimer’s. The journal called Neurology, confirmed these numbers and pointed out that there are currently 5 million people in the US with dementia, which is caused by Alzheimer’s. Internationally, 38 million people suffer from dementia.

Alzheimer’s is known as an age-related disorder as it is extremely rare to get it below retirement age. It typically affects those 65 and older, though it has been seen in younger adults around their 50s. Alzheimer’s effects are gradual and will start slow with forgetting people’s names or what they are the day before. Slowly, it will completely take over their memories and ability to care for themselves.

There are currently a variety of drugs to treat some of the additional symptoms of Alzheimer’s, but currently there is no cure, prevention or treatment that will stop the progression of the disease. Millions of dollars have been put into Alzheimer’s research, but so far nothing has been successful. This puts baby boomers at a much higher risk for the disease.

Alzheimer’s and Health Care

Since the rising health care costs is still a major concern among baby boomers, the risk of Alzheimer among their generation creates a larger fear. Alzheimer’s takes over their ability to think and function normally which requires round-the-clock nursing care. Most elderly people with the disease move into residential senior communities where they can be looked after. Some will remain home while they have nursing care at home or relatives watching over them, but the longer they have the disease, the worse it is going to get. With insurance changes, Medicare changes and the higher health care costs, baby boomers are facing difficulties as they begin reaching their 60s and 70s.

Preparing for Alzheimer’s Costs

While there is currently no way to prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia, baby boomers are encouraged to start preparing for the possibility now by going through their finances and getting insurance that will help cover these costs. The earlier you get insurance, the lower your premiums are going to be.

The cost of healthcare and healthcare options has been greatly effected by studies such as this. The concern for longer term healthcare needs, coverage and gap coverage for these needs has sent not only seniors into a panic, but also communities and health insurance providers. It remains to be seen how the communities and organizations will handle the onset of these issues in the future, however they are working on answers.