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Alzheimer's Association Releases Report That Predicts Doubling in Number of Californians With Neurological Disorder
Date:2/25/2009

g help, which leads to a disproportionate number of caregivers being forced to miss work, reduce work hours, change jobs or quit their jobs altogether; and

-- Family caregivers who care for people with severe memory problems are more likely than other family caregivers to experience financial hardship, report health difficulties, experience emotional stress and suffer from sleep disturbance.

"Having spent much of my career as an advocate for older adults and their families, I am keenly aware that Alzheimer's is a major challenge for California's already overburdened healthcare system," said Assemblymember Mariko Yamada. "The release of this report serves as urgent confirmation that the State must put a plan in place as soon as possible, and I commit to being part of that effort."

And then there is the cost. During the next 20 years, the total cost of caring for people with Alzheimer's disease in California who live in the community, where their care is provided and paid for by family members, is expected to increase by 49 percent, or from the current $50.5 billion to $98.8 billion. While less than 6 percent of people living with Alzheimer's disease reside in skilled nursing facilities that cost increase will also jump from a current $16 billion to more than an estimated $31 billion by 2030. With many families unable to pay these costs over the often long course of the disease, that increase will fall on the state and federal government, and from there, onto taxpayers.

The report's findings underscore the need to intensify research efforts. The facts indicate that by delaying onset of the debilitating symptoms of Alzheimer's by just five years, prevalence rates could be cut in half. A decline in the number of people being treated for dementia can result in a parallel decline in the burden on Medi-Cal -- and on taxpayers.

"The numbers in this report tell us the worst is y
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SOURCE Alzheimer's Association
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