Friday, September 20, 2013

Report: Skyrocketing Rate of Dementia, Shortage of Caregivers

Posted By on Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 10:26 AM

In July 2011, Boise Weekly sat down with Boise State scholar and researcher Dr. Troy Rohn, to talk about Alzheimer's, a disease Dr. Rohn called "the epidemic of our times." At the time, Rohn said there were between 26,000 and 32,000 people in Idaho diagnosed with Alzheimer's—enough to fill Bronco Stadium.

"We are one of the 'hot states' that will see the greatest increase in Alzheimer's," Rohn told BW. "We have an aging population and a lot of people moving here are about to retire."

On September 19, the a new study titled "World Alzheimer Report 2013" indicated that nearly half of all seniors who need some form of long-term care—from help at home to full-time care in a facility—have dementia. And dropping birth rates mean there are fewer children in families to take care of aging parents. Simply put, soon there will be more people over 60 than under 15.

This week, the U.S. National Institutes of Health announced $45 million in new Alzheimer's research, with most of the money focused on finding ways to prevent or at least delay the devastating disease. The Obama administration had hoped to invest $100 million in new Alzheimer's research this year, a move blocked by congressional budget cuts. Overall, the U.S. has invested about $400 million a year in Alzheimer's research.

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