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Alzheimer's costs sufferers, society as much as $215 billion a year

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Most people cannot even fathom what one billion dollars means. What about $215 billion? It is an astounding number that is connected to the lives of many Americans. It is likely that every person at least knows someone suffering with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia. Collectively, the treatment necessary to help those with Alzheimer's costs the country as much as $215 billion.

Researchers followed a representative sample of Americans and found that about 15 percent of them were diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Apply that number to the whole U.S. population, and it's estimated that more than 4 million suffer from the most common form of dementia. That number combined with the treatment and care giving necessary for the disease makes for a significant cost.

According to the research, for an individual Alzheimer's sufferer, the cost of his disease every year is between $41,000 and $56,000. The disease is expensive because it keeps a sufferer from working but also can keep his loved ones from working as well. More obviously there are the costs of medicine and medical appointments.

A huge cost is that of long-term care. Alzheimer's generally does shorten people's lives, but many still live long lives and need constant care giving and medical attention. Long-term care insurance can be integral to getting a dementia sufferer into a facility that he needs in order to live out the rest of his life in a safe, secure way.

Our insurance lawyers have experience helping people sort out their long-term disability insurance plans. Whether they have questions about their policy, been denied benefits, etc., we are here to help clarity what is likely a stressful situation.

Source: The Associated Press, "Alzheimer's, other dementias, most costly malady in US; tops cancer, heart disease, study says," April 3, 2013

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