The health-care costs of Alzheimer’s patients are more than triple those of other older people, and that doesn’t include billions of hours of unpaid care from family members, a new report suggests. Compared with other people aged 65 and older, those with the mind-destroying disease are much more often hospitalized and treated in skilled-nursing centers.
It all adds up to at least $33,007 in annual costs per patient, compared with $10,603 without Alzheimer’s, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. The numbers are based on 2004 Medicare and insurance data; today’s figures are likely higher. “These statistics paint a really grim picture of what’s going to happen … unless we invest in solutions” to delay or prevent the disease, an association exec said.