Alzheimer’s by the Numbers: Are You a Statistic?
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