Dementia Incidence Highest Among African Americans

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Published: Apr 6th, 2016
Dementia Incidence Highest Among African Americans
Article Updated:April 5th, 2020

The ‘Annals of Long-Term Care’ reports incident rates of dementia in the United States are highest among African Americans and American Indians.

This is the first study that reviewed this issue as it pertains to the diversity of US culture. The study, published online ahead of print in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, analyzed data from more than 274,000 northern California members of Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest private integrated health care system with more than 10 million members.

The researchers used electronic health records covering patient visits over 14 years—from January 2000 through December 2013—to identify participants diagnosed with dementia as well as their race and ethnicity. The dementia diagnoses included Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and non-specific dementia.

Familial Risk of Alzheimer’s is Higher with Racial Groups Than Others

The incident rates were highest for African-Americans, followed by American Indians/Native Alaskans, Latinos and Pacific Islanders, and whites. The lowest rate was shown for Asian Americans.

“Even in the lowest risk groups in the study, the lifetime risk of developing dementia is high,” “Our projections indicate that in every racial and ethnic group, over one in four people who survive to age 65 can expect to be diagnosed with dementia in their lifetime.” 

 Rachel Whitmer, Ph.D., Epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente Northern California, CA.

Planning experts indicate these reinforce the reasons people need to prepare for the financial costs and burdens that long-term care places on the American family.

Don't Expect Health Insurance/Medicareto Pay for Long-Term Memory Care

Many people incorrectly think their health insurance or Medicare(health insurance for those 65 and older) will pay for these extended healthcare costs. The fact is these types of traditional plans pay little or nothing toward most long-term care costs. The responsibility is placed on your and your family unless you put into place an advance plan which includes affordable Long-Term Care Insurance.

Long-Term Care Insurance will pay for care at home or in a facility. You and your family will have choice and control over your future care.

“Individuals mistakenly have been led to believe that Long-Term Care insurance costs thousands of dollars.”  

 Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance

Premiums are a fraction of the actual costs of extended care services. If your health is good and you act in your 40s and 50s the premiums are very affordable. The key is to start planning early as part of retirement planning before retirement.

“Some people may qualify for a public program to help pay for these (Long-Term Care) expenses, most people use a variety of options, including Long-Term Care insurance,” according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Risk of Long-Term Care Increases with Age

HHS says if a person reaches the age of 65, they will have a 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care service before they die. 

Memory loss is just one of several reasons people require help with normal activities of daily living or require supervision due to memory issues.

African-Americans should pay special attention to cognitive decline as Alzheimer’s disease is more prevalent among African-Americans than among whites.

With the range being 14% to almost 100% higher than other groups, African-American families should prepare for the financial and emotional costs of dementia. 

DementiaImpacts All of Us - Planning is Essential

Other groups have some familial risk of Alzheimer’s, but most dementia is not genetic. Researchers indicate, however, that genetic and environmental factors may work differently with blacks than they do other racial groups. 

The best way for many American families to plan for the financial costs and burdens of aging is with an affordable Long-Term Care policy. These policies are custom designed so you can easily get a policy that fits your budget.

Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance Offers Additional Asset Protection

In 45 states, special Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance offers additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection. A partnership policy gives you an affordable way to safeguard your assets, no matter how long you may require care.

You can design a partnership policy to match the amount of assets you have so you can shelter those savings. See if your state offers these partnership policies by clicking here

Be sure to find a qualified and experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you design a plan and shop from among the major insurance companies. 

LTC Insurance is Affordable but Premiums Vary Between Companies

Premiums for Long-Term Care Insurance vary dramatically between companies for the same coverage. It is essential you shop; a qualified specialist will be able to do this so you can enjoy peace-of-mind knowing you have the best coverage at the best value.

Find a trusted and experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist by clicking here

With an affordable LTC policy in place, you will enjoy guaranteed benefits. It will protect your 401(k) IRA and other assets from the costs of longevity. 

Remember, planning for long-term care is more than just asset protection. It is about family. Give your family the time to be family, and you preserve savings, lifestyle, and legacy. 

Editor's Note

Start your research into affordable Long-Term Care Insurance by using the many resources on LTC NEWS.

Start your research by finding the current and future cost of extended care services where you live. Click here and see the current and future financial impact long-term care will have on you and your family.  

Be sure to plan in your 40s or 50s when you can take advantage of low premiums, and you can even qualify for good health discounts. 

LTC News Contributor James Kelly
James Kelly

Contributor Since
January 1st, 1970

LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

About the Author

LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

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