But Alzheimer's Costs Skyrocket
By Ryan Jaslow / CBS News / September 20, 2013
An April study in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated the yearly cost of caring for someone with dementia at about $70,000.
Family CaregiversPeople caring for family members or friends long distance fared worse. On average, they spent an extra $10,000 out of pocket each year for expenses, like for travel. The Alzheimer's Association estimates that there are 2.3 million Americans currently providing long-distance care for a relative or friend.
The new report from Alzheimer's Disease International says national plans need to be implemented to address growing disease rates, a shortage of caregivers and a lack of support from family members of those with dementia.
"People with dementia have special needs. Compared with other long-term care users they need more personal care, more hours of care, and more supervision, all of which is associated with greater strain on caregivers, and higher costs," the report's author, Dr. Martin Prince, a professor at King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry, said in a statement. "We need to value the unpaid contribution of family caregivers more, and reward paid caregivers better. We can build quality into our care systems, but to do so while containing costs and achieving equity of access for all will be a challenge."