15 Million in U.S. Care For A Loved One Suffering from Alzheimer’s

As the number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease climbs, so does the number of unpaid caregivers, USA Today reported.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are nearly 15 million unpaid caregivers in the United States who are helping people who have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia – a 37 percent increase from last year.

About 5.4 million people currently have Alzheimer’s, a condition linked with aging.  Every 69 seconds, someone else develops it.

The family members and friends responsible for them provide about 17 billion hours of unpaid care, valued at 202.6 billion.

“The toll on families is devastating,” says the association’s Beth Kallmyer, senior director of constituent services. “Stress is extremely high, and one-third are experiencing depression.”

Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the US, and out of the top ten, it is the only one that has no prevention or cure.

The burden on family might be eased if people were more aware of early symptoms and were diagnosed sooner, suggested Beth Kallmyer, senior director of constituent services at the Alzheimer’s Association.

“This disease is never going to be easy, but empowering patients to make financial and long-term care decisions early helps families,” she says.

Click here to read more from USA Today.