The United States Senate Special Committee on Aging turned their attention to Alzheimer's research and caregiving needs for the more than 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer's disease.
"More than 800,000 Americans, including adults with dementia, languish on waitlists for services like help with grocery shopping, bathing or housework, sometimes waiting for years on end," said U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging.
Senator Bob Casey (D-PA)
"An investment in home and community-based services is long overdue to help families who struggle day in and day out to care for their family members, friends, and neighbors," Senator Casey said in an opening statement.
11 Million Unpaid Caregivers Helping Loved Ones with Dementia
In 2020, roughly 11 million individuals provided unpaid care for a person with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia. Since health insurance, including Medicare and supplements, pay very little toward long-term health care, including dementia care, many families either pay for care services out of savings or their families must become caregivers. Caregiving is demanding physically and emotionally, and research shows the role adversely affects the caregiver's health.
Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), the committee's ranking member, called for the same type of "all hands-on approach" used in the COVID-19 crisis to research and develop the vaccines that are now being used worldwide.
Massive Alzheimer’s Research Needed
Senator Scott referenced the vaccine develop which was considered as impossible to do.
Sen Tim Scott (R-SC)
"If we have the same energy and synergy towards Alzheimer's, I believe we could have similar results in unbelievable time," Scott told the committee.
Mark A. Supiano, M.D., Professor, and Chief, Division of Geriatrics, University of Utah School of Medicine, told the committee that research is needed to identify cognitive resilience mechanisms, promote cultural awareness, and address the disproportionate impact of health disparities in developing cognitive impairment.
"There is a pressing need to provide options so persons with dementia and their families and caregivers can access the right care, in the right setting, at the right time, said Supiano.
Dr. Supiano shared this graph on the progression of dementia leading to the need for long-term care services. While those with mild cognitive impairment can maintain fairly normal lifestyles, as the disease progresses the need for help with daily living activities becomes necessary.
Growing Number of People with Alzheimer’s Expected
More than 1 in 9 people aged 65 and older living in the United States now have Alzheimer's disease. By 2025 the number is expected to be 7.2 million.
Jennifer Manly, Professor of Neuropsychology in Neurology at the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center and the Taub Institute for Research in Aging and Alzheimer's Disease at Columbia University, told the committee that by 2060, an estimated 13.8 million people will have Alzheimer's.
She said Early Onset Alzheimer's disease, defined as the onset of symptoms before the age of 65, is less common, affecting about 4 – 5% of all people with Alzheimer's.
Alzheimer’s Impacting More Women and Minorities
Women and minorities have higher rates of the disease.
"A higher proportion of Black and Hispanic older adults live with Alzheimer's disease than white older adults. More women are affected by Alzheimer's disease than men because women live longer, and age is the primary risk factor for Alzheimer's. Of the approximately 6.2 million Americans aged 65 and older currently living with Alzheimer's, about 3.8 million are women. Women also represent approximately two-thirds of the dementia caregivers in the United States," Manley said in a statement to the committee.
Manley says that people who had fewer educational opportunities as children are at higher risk for Alzheimer's disease later in life. She also notes that Alzheimer's disease is underdiagnosed. Only half of the people who have Alzheimer's disease ever receive a formal diagnosis by a doctor.
She also cites evidence that missed diagnoses of Alzheimer's, and other dementias are more common among Black and Hispanic older adults than among older whites.
Senator Scott repeated a statement frequently made by the Alzheimer's Association that the first survivor of Alzheimer's is living right now. However, it is already too late for many American families, as they deal with a crisis of caregiving right now.
Long-Term Care Insurance Will Pay for Dementia Care
There are limited federal and some state tax incentives available toward the purchase of Long-Term Care Insurance. In forty-five states, Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance is available, providing the policyholder with dollar-for-dollar asset protection. Even a small policy can shelter part of a family's assets.
However, Long-Term Care Insurance is medically underwritten and must be purchased when a person is in reasonably good health. Experts suggest purchasing coverage in your 40s or 50s when a person's health is still good, and premiums are lower.
Those who are already suffering from some form of dementia hope for improvements in treatment and additional tax benefits for family caregivers.
About the Author
Contributor since April 22nd, 2021
Too many caregivers providing help for a person requiring long-term health care are not qualified to provide that help. Many of these caregivers are unpaid family members. Taking on a caregiver's role creates an additional burden on that person as it impacts their lifestyle, family, finances, and health.
The role of being a family caregiver is physically and emotionally draining. These family members must juggle their careers, families, and caregiving responsibilities. However, unpaid caregivers are performing about 80 percent of the care provided at home.
Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance offers guaranteed tax-free resources to pay for your choice of quality care, including in-home care. Thus, you have asset protection as you reduce the stress and anxiety otherwise placed on those you love.
LTC NEWS Research Tools
LTC NEWS offers multiple tools and resources to help you research the financial costs and burdens of aging so you can find an affordable solution.
Find all the resources on LTC NEWS by clicking here.
One of the best tools is the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator. You can find the current and future costs of long-term health care where you live. This information will help you design an appropriate LTC Insurance policy.
Seek help from a qualified and experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you find the best coverage at the lowest cost. Most general insurance agents and financial advisors have little knowledge of long-term health care. Find a trusted specialist by clicking here.
Share News with LTC NEWS
Include LTC NEWS in your press release distribution. If your group, organization, business, political committee, etc., have news to share, send it to LTC NEWS. Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Become a Guest Contributor for LTC NEWS
You can write for LTC NEWS. Gain exposure for yourself, drive traffic to your website or blog, and improve your SEO.
LTC NEWS offers many resources to help families address the consequences of long-term care, aging, health, caregiving, and other retirement issues. You can be part of the effort to help educate consumers throughout the U.S. and around the world.
Write a story for publication on LTC NEWS and let America hear what you have to say. Be sure your article fits the LTC NEWS target audience of adults 40-70.
Topics can include stories on:
- Long-Term Care
- Retirement Planning
There are numerous other related topics, as well. You can even promote yourself, your business, and your website or blog. It must have editorial content exclusive for LTC NEWS and cannot be just an advertisement. It can include links to other sites, and you can share the article link once published on your website or social media.
Marketing and Advertising Opportunities on LTC NEWS
LTC NEWS is a great way to drive traffic to your website or blog and even improve your SEO.
Reach an educated audience. Readers of LTC NEWS are researching retirement issues, including aging, health, caregiving, and long-term care. Other readers seek information for a parent or other loved one who is experiencing declining health or aging issues and require extended care.
Many marketing opportunities are available, including sponsored content articles. Sponsored content offers you a long-form way to sell yourself, your company, and your ideas.
Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help you market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - click here.