New Alzheimer’s Association report sheds light on stressors for caregivers

Published: Updated:
a doctor holding an mri result of the brain
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Alzheimer’s disease is both devastating and deadly. One of the biggest problems doctors face is that symptoms typically don’t appear until the disease has progressed.

“We know now that the process of Alzheimer’s disease begins in the brain well more than a decade before people get symptoms,” explained Reisa Sperling, MD, Director of the Center for Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment.

Now, a new report estimates that 6.9 million people 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in the United States.

The cost of care is projected to reach an astronomical $360 billion.

The Alzheimer’s Association 2024 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report highlights the burden caregivers face.

Key findings:

  • In 2023, 11.5 million family and other caregivers of people living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias provided an estimated 18.4 billion hours of unpaid help.
  • Most caregivers (70%) report that care coordination is stressful.
    • More than half of the caregivers surveyed (53%) said navigating health care was difficult.
    • 2 in 3 caregivers (66%) also have difficulty finding resources and support for their needs.
  • Top five stressors for caregivers:
    • Cost (reported by 42% of caregivers).
    • Coordinating with multiple doctors (36%).
    • Securing appointments (35%)
    • Getting help taking a break (35%).
    • Finding appropriate doctors (32%).

The report also finds that 60% of healthcare workers said the healthcare system is not effectively helping patients and their caregivers manage Dementia care.

Age is the single most important risk factor when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease. Experts said the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s doubles every five years after you reach age 65.

A full breakdown of the survey methodology used to inform the 2024 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report and accompanying special report, Mapping a Better Future for Dementia Care Navigation, can be found on p. 98 of the report.

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