Alzheimer's Cost Triple That of Other Elderly
Compared with people aged 65 and older without Alzheimer's, those with the mind-destroying disease are much more often hospitalized and treated in skilled-nursing centers. Their medical costs also often include nursing home care and Medicare-covered home health visits.
That all adds up to at least $33,007 in annual costs per patient, compared with $10,603 for an older person without Alzheimer's, according to a report issued Tuesday by the Alzheimer's Association.
The numbers are based on 2004 data and include average per-person Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance costs.
Costs likely have grown since then as the U.S population has aged and the number of Alzheimer's diagnoses has risen, said Angela Geiger, the Alzheimer's Association chief strategy officer.
According to the group's report, nearly 10 million caregivers -- mostly family members -- provided 8.5 billion hours of unpaid care for Alzheimer's patients last year."All of these statistics paint a really grim picture of what's going to happen ... unless we invest in solutions" to delay or prevent the disease, Geiger said.