This will not surprise any of us who have been involved with caring for Alzheimer's patients.
The 2004 (notice that's 5 years ago) study reports that it costs $33,007 PER PATIENT PER YEAR for those with Alzheimer's as opposed to $10,603 for those of the same age but not having Alzheimer's. This DOES NOT INCLUDE the estimated 8.5 billion hours expended by some 10 million caregivers (that's also PER YEAR).
Last year the estimate was 5.3 million people who had Alzheimer's. So dividing 8.5 billion by 5.3 million I get 1604 hours per patient or about 30 hours per week per patient. Or 8.5 billion hours by 10 million caregivers is 850 hours per caregiver per year. That's about 16 hours per week.
Or dividing 10 million caregivers by 5.3 million patients gives 1.89 caregivers per patient.
Well, I am not sure how the study counted hours and caregivers. In my case I wonder if my time should have been counted as 24 hours per day by 365 days per year for the nearly 10 years I spent taking care of dad? If I had not been there I would have had to employed someone to stay there -- actually 3 or 4 or 5 someones because you can't really make people work 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It's against the law unless it is you.
Now money wise if I figured $33,000 for Dad for 10 years that would be $330,000. I had to kind of figure this up for him. There was about $25,000 in insurance. There was maybe $7,000 in total drugs and medicine cost. The doctor only charged when he came out and that wasn't very often -- a few thousand probably except for the hospitalizations. There were 4 hospitalizations all together but none were terribly expensive. I'm guessing about $13,000. Then caregivers for respite was about $30,000. I think hospice was about $25,000. That adds up to about $100,000 and I think I might be long.
Here's an interesting quote from the article:
"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.
This week a Senate committee will hear from an independent coalition of experts that has been working on a strategy for dealing with the growing Alzheimer's population.
An estimated 5.3 million Americans have the disease; by next year nearly half a million new cases will be diagnosed, according to the Alzheimer's Association.3 million Americans have the disease; by next year nearly half a million new cases will be diagnosed, according to the Alzheimer's Association.