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The 2019 Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures Report: What We’ve Learned

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Diagnoses of Alzheimer’s are growing and more is being learned about risk factors for the disease based on the 2019 report.

The Alzheimer’s Association has released its 2019 Facts and Figures Report, and with a full 5.8 million Americans currently diagnosed with the disease – including 1 out of every ten senior citizens – it is necessary for people to understand the newest breakthroughs in research and treatment options.

Based on the report, the number of Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is anticipated to increase from 5.8 million in 2019 to an anticipated 13.8 million in 2050. And even while the impact is most significant on older adults, the condition begins to create modifications in the brain a staggering twenty years or more before symptoms are noticeable.

If you are among the millions of family members providing care for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s, you are completely aware of the investment in time needed: along with other family caregivers, adding up to 18.5 billion hours in 2018 alone. In fact, 83% of dementia care is provided by friends and relatives. And the effect on a caregiver’s health is substantial, with close to 60% stating emotional stress and nearly 40% being affected by physical stress.

Risk factors were also updated in this year’s report, and include:

  • Age: Not surprisingly, risk spikes noticeably with age, from as little as 3% within the 65 – 74 age bracket, to 17% in those ages 75 – 84, to an astonishing 32% for everyone age 85 and older.
  • APOE gene: Of the 3 kinds of the APOE gene (e2, e3, and e4), which carries cholesterol within the bloodstream, the e4 form is related to the greatest incidence associated with the disease.
  • Family history: People who have at least one first-degree relative (parents, siblings) have an increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s, and the risk grows when shared lifestyle and environmental factors are in play (for example. unhealthy eating or obesity).

Of significant value is the finding that despite the fact that medical care providers are advised to regularly assess cognitive functioning for all seniors, only 16% of people over age 65 report having a standard assessment, and more than 50 percent have never received an assessment at all – despite the fact that 94% of doctors noted the need for such an assessment.

According To Joanne Pike, Dr.P.H., chief program officer for the Alzheimer’s Association, “Early detection of cognitive decline offers numerous medical, social, emotional, financial and planning benefits, but these can only be achieved by having a conversation with doctors about any thinking or memory concerns and through routine cognitive assessments.”

Home Sweet Home In-Home Care continues to be invested in following the most recent trends in Alzheimer’s disease, and to supply the exceptional, professional care which allows for the highest possible quality of life at all times for the people with dementia. Contact us online or call us at (269) 849-9252 in St. Joseph, 269-763-5350 in Paw Paw, 269-963-9888 in Battle Creek or 269-373-5444 in Kalamazoo to get more educational resources related to Alzheimer’s, or to learn more about our specialized in-home dementia care services and caregivers in Paw Paw, MI and surrounding cities.

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