Dramatic Rise in Alzheimer’s Death Rate
Why is this Happening?
There is a dramatic rise in Alzheimer’s death rate. Seems like it’s time to ask, “Why?”
Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US reported that death rates had climbed 55% between 1999 and 2014. And, this is very bad news, especially considering that the number of those afflicted with the disease will increase rapidly in coming years. Consequently, by 2050, the 5.5 million who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease will likely double to 13.8 million. —That is, unless a cure is discovered or drastic changes take place.
Possible Reasons for Increasing Death Rate
Statistics are based on death certificate data from the National Vital Statistics System. Additionally, CDC researchers say the sharp increase may possibly be due to:
- Aging Population
- Earlier Diagnosis
- Greater Reporting by Physicians
Maybe, in this age of ever-increasing knowledge and technology, we have more time for our minds to develop problems. Seems like this is a result of our ability to medicate away physical issues associated with aging.
Mortality Rates According to Race
Especially relevant, data released in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report showed the increased mortality rate according to races and ethnicities:
- African Americans – 99%
- Hispanics – 107%
- Asian/Pacific Islanders – 151%
- Caucasians – 54%
Especially relevant, the co-founder of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, George Vradenburg said, “The CDC findings raise needed public awareness of how fast this disease is growing and destroying families, and how we must stand firm against any action that reduces the nation’s ability to innovate and speed cures.”
Most of all, Alzheimer’s disease is a wretched and fatal form of dementia that erases memories and ultimately can destroy physical and mental capacity. Also, it’s heart-breaking for the patient’s family and friends.
More Home Deaths
Additionally, the report identified another important change: where the patient passes away. In the past, over half used to die in a nursing home or long-term-care facility. That percentage has gone down from 1999. Additionally, those who died at home increased from 13.9% to 24.9%. Consequently, there’s a greater impact on the families involved.
Financial and Societal Costs
“The debilitating nature of Alzheimer’s means that there are financial and societal costs borne by patients and their families, and by states and counties that operate publicly funded long-term care facilities,” say the researchers.
Consequently, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will cost the US $259 billion in health and care costs this year. Medicare and Medicaid cover 2/3 of that expense. The Alzheimer’s Association reports these findings..
“Given the increasing number of Alzheimer’s deaths and persons with Alzheimer’s dying at home, there is a growing number of caregivers who likely can benefit from interventions like education, respite care, and home health assistance,” the researchers wrote, adding that “such interventions can lessen the burden of care-giving and can improve the care received by persons with Alzheimer’s.”
Furthermore, studies suggest that it’s not pain but ‘existential distress’ that leads people to assisted suicide. In conclusion, anything we can do to make their lives a little happier may help to turn the tide.