IRVINE, CA, December 14, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Alzheimer's Association, Orange County (AAOC) today released the 2013/2014 Alzheimer's Disease in Orange County Incidence and Impact Report which emphatically confirms earlier suspicions that Alzheimer's disease is a fast-growing epidemic that ultimately may affect 21 percent of female and 14 percent of male Orange County residents.---
AAOC studied surveys, data reports, census data and prevalence data and then cross-correlated all results to produce the most accurate and comprehensive analysis to date of dementia incidence and prevalence in the county. The report focuses on three key areas: the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, its impact on families, and its effect on Orange County's economic health.
"The statistics reveal that more than 84,000 of our friends, family members and neighbors are suffering from this disease - right now," said Jim McAleer, CEO and president of AAOC. "This thoroughly cross-checked and precise body of information gives us updated, real-time information so that we now know exactly how severe and prevalent the epidemic is. We are more determined than ever to serve the individuals and families currently suffering."
Strikingly, Alzheimer's is the fourth-leading cause of death in Orange County. Out of more than 400,000 people aged 65 or older in Orange County, 84,153 suffer from various dementias and 60,880 have Alzheimer's disease. While men and women are equally prone to have Alzheimer's disease at younger ages, with the longer lifespan of women and other lifestyle factors, the numbers are higher for women as the population advances in age.
Unfortunately, Alzheimer's casts a wide net. Family members often are the ones providing care - especially to spouses and parents. The statistics are unsettling:
• Three-fourths of care for individuals with Alzheimer's is provided by unpaid family members
• More than 60 percent of dementia caregivers are women
• The cost of caring for an individual with dementia is 31 percent higher than caring for a person with some other serious ailment.
In addition to their caregiver duties, 60 percent of dementia family members are also employed full or part time. More than two-thirds of these working family caregivers have had to leave work early, go in late or take time off due to the demands of caring for loved ones with dementia. Ultimately, 11 percent of dementia caregivers reduce work hours or quit working entirely.
Alzheimer's also has a devastating financial impact on Orange County's economy and that impact will grow worse. It is projected that by 2030, the stressful demands of family members caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's will cost $19,200,000 annually. Another sobering fact is that family caregivers annually provide an average of 1,139 hours of care, per individual. With 60,880 Orange County residents living with Alzheimer's, an estimated 70 million hours of care are provided to these patients each year, which costs approximately $855 million annually.
"It is obvious that many people today are personally impacted by Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. And it's also obvious that the number of personally impacted people will grow dramatically in the years ahead. While the incidence of many diseases is declining, the number of Alzheimer's patients is growing," said McAleer.
"The report just concluded shows how financially impacted we are here in Orange County, with so many lost hours of work and productivity suffering greatly," added McAleer. "This disease is crippling physically, financially and emotionally for all of us here in Orange County. Our programs and services are designed to offer care and support to those affected and to search for treatments and cures to Alzheimer's and dementia."
Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia, with up to 70 percent of dementia cases diagnosed as Alzheimer's. Dementia is a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. There is currently no way to cure the disease. Qualified and trained medical professionals are able to diagnose young-onset and traditional onset dementia and provide treatment to ease the symptoms and/or slow progression.
To view the complete report, visit: alz.org/oc/.
About Alzheimer's Association, Orange County Chapter
Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization focused on the care, support and research of Alzheimer's disease, a type of dementia that causes memory loss and problems with thinking and behavior. Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Since 1982, Alzheimer's Association, Orange County Chapter has provided programs and services, free of charge, to Orange County residents with Alzheimer's and related disorders, their families, caregivers, and the community. Individuals with questions and concerns about memory loss are encouraged to call the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900or visit http://www.alz.org.
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