California First Lady Maria Shriver and the Alzheimer's Association have just released The Shriver Report: A Women's Nation Takes on Alzheimer's, which reveals the epidemic's effect on women as caregivers, advocates and people living with this disease. As the report details, women are at the epicenter of the Alzheimer's epidemic. According to the Alzheimer's Association, women represent almost two-thirds of all Americans with Alzheimer's; women also make up 60 percent of the unpaid caregivers for family members and friends with Alzheimer's. All told, that means there are 10 million women who either have Alzheimer's or are caring for someone with the disease. The toll Alzheimer's has on individuals and caregivers is further compounded by the financial burden felt by families and the US government, totaling about $300 billion per year. The cost of caring for a single person with Alzheimer's is $56,800 a year, the bulk of it paid for by each family.
With the baby boomers entering their mid-60s, an Alzheimer's tsunami is about to hit, with the number of people with Alzheimer's disease expected to triple, reaching as many as 16 million by 2050. "The statistics in this report are shocking," said Shriver. "We have to ask ourselves as a nation if we're ready for what will happen as this epidemic unfolds." More details are available through The Shriver Report’s media partners, TIME, ABC News with reports all this week and online at alz.org
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