Report: Alzheimer’s Disease Rising In New Mexico

Alzheimer's Association logo

Report: Alzheimer’s Disease Rising In New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE ― Disturbing news for New Mexicans is indicated by the 2019 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report released Tuesday by the Alzheimer’s Association.

Each year, the Facts and Figures report provides a look at the latest national statistics and information on Alzheimer’s prevalence, incidence, mortality and morbidity, costs of care and caregiving.

Nationally, an estimated 5.8 million Americans of all ages are now living with Alzheimer’s disease, which has no prevention, proven treatment or cure.

Here in New Mexico, the numbers are on the rise.

In just one year, the number of New Mexicans living with Alzheimer’s disease has risen from 39,000 to 41,000. That figure is projected to rise to 53,000 by 2025.

The number of unpaid family caregivers – typically family members –who are taking care of these people has risen from 107,000 to 108,000. Additionally, Hispanics, which make up as much as 48% of New Mexico’s population, are about one and one-half times as likely as whites to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias.

“This report makes it clear that we all need to do more to address these rising numbers,” says Gary Girón (Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Association, New Mexico Chapter). “Every year, we see deaths from Alzheimer’s disease continue to rise, while deaths from comparable diseases decrease. As a nation, as a state, as citizens, we need to prioritize advancing research that will curb the devastating impact of Alzheimer’s.”

Another significant finding from the 2019 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report released today shows that, despite a strong belief among seniors and primary care physicians that brief cognitive assessments are important, only half of seniors are being assessed for thinking and memory issues, and much fewer receive routine assessments. A brief cognitive assessment is a short evaluation for cognitive impairment performed by a health care provider that can take several forms — including asking a patient about cognitive concerns, directly observing a patient’s interactions, seeking input from family and friends or using short verbal or written tests that can be administered easily in the clinical setting. An evaluation of cognitive function is a required component of the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit, but findings from the report show that only 1 in 3 seniors are aware these visits should include this assessment.

Other new information released today:

Prevalence, Incidence and Mortality

  • An estimated 5.8 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2019, including 200,000 under the age of 65.
  • An estimated 47 million people globally are living with dementia (131 million projected by 2050). Someone new develops dementia every three seconds.
  • By 2025 — just six years from now — the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s dementia is estimated to reach 7.1 million — an increase of 27 percent from the 5.6 million people age 65 and older affected in 2019.
  • Barring the development of medical breakthroughs, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s dementia may nearly triple from 5.6 million to 13.8 million by 2050.
  • The percentage of people with Alzheimer’s dementia increases with age: 3 percent of people age 65-74, 17 percent of people age 75-84, and 32 percent of people age 85 and older.
  • Two-thirds of Americans over age 65 with Alzheimer’s dementia (3.5 million) are women.
  • Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S., and it is the fifth-leading cause of death for those age 65 and older.
  • Between 2000 and 2017, the number of deaths from Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S. – as recorded on death certificates – has more than doubled, increasing 145 percent, while the number of deaths from the No. 1 cause of death (heart disease) decreased 9 percent.

Cost of Care

  • Total national cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is estimated at $290 billion (not including unpaid caregiving) in 2019, of which $195 billion is the cost to Medicare and Medicaid; out-of-pocket costs represent $63 billion of the total payments, while other costs total $32 billion.
  • Total payments for health care, long-term care and hospice care for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are projected to increase to more than $1.1 trillion in 2050 (in 2019 dollars).
  • In 2018, the lifetime cost of care was greater for those with dementia than those without ($350,174 versus $192,575, respectively).

Caregiving

  • Nearly half of all caregivers (48 percent) who provide help to older adults do so for someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
  • Approximately two-thirds of caregivers are women, and one-third of dementia caregivers are daughters.
  • Approximately one-quarter of dementia caregivers are “sandwich generation” caregivers, meaning they care not only for an aging parent, but also for children under age 18.
  • In 2018, caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias provided an estimated 18.5 billion hours of unpaid assistance, valued at $233.9 billion (based on a time value of $12.64/hour). This is equal to approximately 46 percent of the net value of Walmart’s total revenue in 2018 ($500.3 billion) and more than 10 times the total revenue of McDonald’s in 2017 ($22.8 billion).

The Alzheimer’s Association, New Mexico Chapter offers many free services and resources to caregivers and families facing the disease: support groups, care consultations, respite, educational presentations, safety programs, information and referral and more.

We have five branch offices in the state: Albuquerque (Main Office), Santa Fe (Northeastern New Mexico), Farmington (Northwestern New Mexico), Roswell (Southeastern New Mexico) and Las Cruces (Southwestern New Mexico). All offices may be contacted by calling 1.(800).272.3900.

If you need help, call us. Our 24/7 Helpline is available any time, day or night for support or information at 1.(800).272.3900.

*Source for all statistics: The Alzheimer’s Association 2019 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report at www.alz.org/facts.


About the Alzheimer’s Association®

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s®. Visit www.alz.org or call 1.(800).272.3900.