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By Elder Care Attorney Rick Law of the Estate Planning Center at Law Elder Law in Aurora, Illinois The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that one in eight Americans older than age 65, approximately 5.4 million people are currently afflicted with Alzheimer’s. Because Alzheimer’s disease is underdiagnosed and many people with Alzheimer’s may think that they are just experiencing the normal issues associated with growing older, many of the afflicted are unaware that they have the disease. As our population ages and people live longer, it is only natural to assume that the numbers of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease will grow. In fact, the Alzheimer’s Association predicts that the annual incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will double by the year 2050. The baby boomers are entering the age brackets where they will be in greater danger of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The first baby boomers turned 65 in 2011. It is estimated that the population of those 65 years old and older will double to 71 million by 2030. Those senior citizens will make up 20 percent of the total population at that time. When the first baby boomers turn 85 years old in 2031, the number of people 85 years old and older is expected to reach 3.5 million, up from 2.5 million in 2012. Alzheimer’s breakdown by age:
  • under 65 years old = 4 percent affected
  • 65 to 74 years old = 6 percent
  • 75 to 84 years old = 44 percent
  • 85 years old and older = 46 percent
Every 68 seconds a new case of Alzheimer’s develops in America. However, that rate is estimated to double by mid-century, with a new case developing every 33 seconds. The time to become educated about Alzheimer’s is now. If the Alzheimer’s Association’s future projections are even close to accurate, we are about to witness an explosion of new cases of the disease. There were an estimated 411,000 new cases of Alzheimer’s disease in 2000. That number was estimated to increase by 10 percent to 454,000 by 2010. By 2030, it is projected that there will be 615,000 new cases, a 50 percent increase from 2000. By 2050, it is believed that there will be 959,000 new cases, a 130 percent increase from 2000. By 2025, the number of people 65 years old and older with Alzheimer’s is estimated to reach 6.7 million, nearly a 30 percent increase in just 15 years. By 2050, the number of people 65 years old and older with Alzheimer’s may double or triple to a projected 11 million to 16 million, unless a medical breakthrough is developed to prevent, slow, or stop the disease. By 2050, it is estimated that the number of Americans 85 years old and older will nearly quadruple to 21 million.48 In fact, between 2010 and 2050, Americans 85 years old and up are expected to increase from 15 percent of all older people in the United States to 24 percent. Getting the appropriate legal documents in place early, while still able to take part in the decision-making process, is a crucial step. It allows those afflicted a better opportunity to have their wishes honored, and can help protect the family. If your loved one has memory problems and you’re afraid of the consequences that may bring, give our office a call today at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now. Sincerely, Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees. Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.   Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!