The Alzheimer's Association recently released their 2015 Facts & Figures Report, and the statistics are astounding:
- Alzheimer's is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the only disease in the top 10 causes of death that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed.
- An estimated 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's, including 200,000 under the age of 65.
- There are 590,000 Californians living with the disease.
- In 2015, Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia will cost the nation $226 billion, yet we are spending just one-quarter of one percent on research.
- Every 67 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer's disease.
One of the most troubling findings in the 2015 report pertains to physicians' lack of disclosure regarding an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis. Only 45% of people with Alzheimer's or their care partners are told of their diagnosis as compared to 90% of people with one of the four most common types of cancer.
Without a cure or even a way to slow Alzheimer's, there is a misconception that knowing the diagnosis is not important. However, nothing could be further from the truth. An early diagnosis provides an opportunity to get involved in clinical trials and make lifestyle changes that may help delay symptoms.
Planning for the future is also a critical part of this story. Having a diagnosis sooner than later gives the patient the ability to participate in estate planning and long-term care planning while they still have the cognitive capacity to do so.
Please contact us to learn more about how we can help with your specific planning needs.