Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The 25th Annual Covered Bridges Half Marathon

As you look back on June 5th, 2016, you may recall a cold and very wet day. Don't you believe it! Everyone who participated in the 25th Annual Covered Bridges Half Marathon will tell you it was a spectacular day! Sure, it rained (and it rained a lot) but that didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the TeamAlzheimers runners. They showed up with a smile and 13.1 miles later, they crossed the finish line still smiling!


I arrived a little before 6:30, and with the incredible assistance of team photographer (and daughter) Wendy Plante, who gives me so much support, I was quickly set up inside the charities tent and ready to go. I'm thrilled I was able to meet many of you. Over the course of the last six months, you have shared your touching reasons for running as a member of this team, and I was so happy to finally put a face with the name!

To each and every one of you, A Very Big THANK YOU!  To some it was your first half marathon, to others it was your first charity team.  For whatever reason you decided to be a part of TeamAlzheimers, I am very grateful.  We cannot do what we do without people like you. You are, quite simply, the very best!

Marlowe Almeida
Karen Arent
Aimee Ayers
John Barrett
John Belardo
Colleen Berg
Susan Cain
Michael Chambers
Alison Clegg
Emily Clegg
Elizabeth Clegg
Stephanie Colman-Brochu
Joeyanna Colton
Jessica Connors
Molly Cowdrey
Megan Cross
Lyndie Donovan
Corinne Ellis
Terry Farrelly
Julie Feierstein
Marielle Fortune
Paul Gamble
Russell Garlick
Stephanie Graber
Ryan Graumann
Jenny Hill
Claire Jefferis
Peter Jones
James Kraemer
Polly Lagana
Kaye-Lani Laughna
Jason Malenfant
Patricia McKay
Chris Mendelsohn
Christine Pike
Stephen Ransom
David Reilly
Clifford Robbins
Melissa Smolen
Suzanne Snyder-Carroll
Heather Somers
Elinor (Hope ) Stege
Stephanie Towns
Jessica Towns
Stuart Trembly
Ryan Ventre
Gretchen Williams

Christine Pike and Julie Feierstein

Clifford Robbins

Colleen Berg

David Reilly

Heather Somers

James Kraemer

John Barrett

John Belardo

Melissa Smolen

Peter Jones

Russell Garlick

Stephanie Colman-Brochu

Jenny Hill, Claire Jefferis and Suzanne Snyder-Carroll

Stephanie Towns and Jessica Towns

Corinne Ellis

Marielle Fortune

Kaye-Lani Laughna and Susan Cain

I am so sorry I missed being in the following photos.
It was getting a little hectic!

Marlowe Almeida and Lyndie Donovan

Ryan Graumann

Jessica Connors and Stephanie Graber

Getting Ready for The All Charities Group Photo

Almost Ready For That Group Shot

And Here It Is!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

This Is What Makes Us Run, Part 3

Continuing our look at the outstanding group of partners we have running for TeamAlzheimers in 2016. Read their stories and learn what makes them run!

I'm from Cambridge, MA. I've only been running for the past year, but have definitely been bitten by the running bug! Covered Bridges will be my first half marathon, and I'm excited to be running it with Team A and raising money for a good cause.
My grandmother passed away from this terrible disease when I was 18. My grandmother was one of the most caring, compassionate people I have ever met, and she never lost that spirit, even as we slowly lost her. I will be running in her honor, and for all who are currently battling this terrible disease.
Thank you all for sharing your stories, and I look forward to meeting and running with you soon!
James Kraemer

My name is Corinne and I am 22 years old. I live in upstate NY and I graduated from the State University of New York at Oneonta this past May. I've been a pretty casual runner for the past four-ish years. I was the girl in high school who could barely run the mile in gym class, so in college I wanted to prove to myself that I could accomplish something if I set my mind to it and remained dedicated. So I ran the Lake George Half Marathon in 2014 and what an accomplishment it was for me! CBHM will be my second half marathon. I'm definitely not the fastest long distance runner, but when I saw that I could run for Alzheimer's in CBHM, I knew I had to sign up for my second race. 
2015 was a very hard year for my family - I lost all three of my grandparents and my childhood dog all within 5 months of each other. I lost my Grandma Helene a week after my graduation to dementia and other natural causes and then lost my Grandma Joan to Alzheimer's in October. Joan had lost the inability to swallow and our family decided a feeding tube for the rest of her life wasn't "life." I am very excited to run in honor of my grandmothers and I have received overflowing support from family, friends, and coworkers.
With that, cheers to Team Alzheimer's in our efforts to help find a cure for this devastating disease one step at a time. I look forward to meeting everyone in June!
Corinne Ellis

I live in Clifton Park, NY. I have been running for 4 years, I ran when I was in high school but never got into again until I became a stay at home Mom to get some time to myself. I ran my first full marathon this past fall. I did not plan to run this race but was asked by some new friends to join them, but the race was already closed out. I looked into the possibly of running for a charity, and saw Team Alzhiemers. This was the right fit for me. My Aunt Marilyn passed away this past November after an accelerated battle with Alzheimers. She was only diagnosed 2 years prior. She was a very strong independent lady who was the matriarch of her family. This disease is sad for anyone to go through I realize but she was such an amazing lady who accomplished so much on her own, traveled on her own, and touched so many lives that it was heart breaking for someone like her to deteriorate mentally. I am so honored to have known her and I am running this race for Marilyn Richards McGinty’s memory and in honor of her children & grandchildren who endured her struggle. 
Thank you! 
Melissa Smolen

I am from Rutland, MA. At 36 years old, I have a torn ACL, Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, a large Carotid Sheath tumor in my neck and I’m a divorced mom raising my 5 year old Autistic son. Ten years ago, I lost my best friend, my mother to Leukemia on July 5, 2006. Her dying wish was to have her cremains spread in her favorite town of Woodstock, VT.  My life has not easy, but I am far from a pessimist. I’ve only been running for five years. I began running as therapy to cope from my failing marriage. 
However, after every storm there is a rainbow. Four years ago I met a man who would become so very important to me and eventually became my boyfriend. I was drawn to him as he inspired me spiritually and mentally. As I got to know Rick, I developed a compassionate understanding of what he and his family were going through. His father, Jozef was fighting a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Rick’s sister, Alicia had been his caretaker and watched Jozef struggle and eventually succumb to Alzheimer’s in July 2014 at 89 years old. Jozef came to this country in 1957 after serving as an underground partisan during WWII. He was an ambitious, hard-working man that cherished family above everything. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to meet Jozef but I am positive that the drive, integrity and other admirable characteristics that Alicia and Rick attain are from their amazing father.
This race will no doubt be emotional for me for various reasons. I was initially drawn to the Covered Bridges Half Marathon because of my mother’s love for Woodstock, Vermont. But seeing the opportunity to run for an amazing charity and in honor of Jozef, I see it as fate. I am destined to run this race. I’ve run numerous 5k’s, 10k’s, two half marathons and one full marathon and I’m thrilled to make the CBHM my third half marathon.
 I look forward to meeting you all in June and I am honored to run for this amazing cause.
Thank you for the opportunity.
 Joeyanna Colton

Monday, February 1, 2016

This Is What Makes Us Run, Part 2

Continuing our look at the outstanding group of partners we have running for TeamAlzheimers in 2016. Read their stories and learn what makes them run!

I'm Marielle from Philadelphia. I've been a runner for a little over 10 years since running cross country in high school in Rhode Island. I got more into longer distance running 3 years ago and have run 3 marathons and 3 half's. I graduated from Dartmouth in 2011 (really near the site of the CBHM) but only heard of the race recently. A fellow alumna friend and I were going to sign up for this race to commemorate our 5th year graduation from school, but while she signed up in time, I didn't quite make the 10 minute cutoff! I didn't think I would do the race this year until I came upon the Team A information under charity entries. 
My grandfather suffered from Alzheimer's, and ended up in a dementia care unit for the last year of his life. They took good care of him there, but it was very difficult for my grandmother and the rest of the family to see him slowly decline. He died this past December at the age of 89. I decided to run the race in memory of him, so I joined the team. Looking forward to meeting everyone in June! 
Marielle Battistoni Fortune

I am thrilled for this opportunity to run with you this June. 
I am originally from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, a true Yooper at heart, but I am currently living in Davidson, North Carolina. I consider Vermont a second home, as I lived and worked in Middlebury for five years before making the move south to spend time closer to family. This half marathon will be my second and first covered bridges half marathon. After moving to the south, I adopted running as a year-round sport, but to be honest I prefer the pool and water sports. I am addicted to traveling overseas and my job as an international admission officer supports that habit. My mother Bev (see photo) was diagnosed seven years ago with early-onset Alzheimer's at the age of 62. She was and still is my best friend. She taught me to love the outdoors and how to lead an active and healthy life. Fortunately, she is still alive and smiling today. I run for her today and everyday. I am joined on Team A by my favorite cousin (and amazing runner) Sue Cain. 
Kaye-Lani Laughna

My name is Sue Cain and I am from Maine, New York. I have been running since I was 13 and am very excited to be doing my first covered bridges  
When I read about Team A, I knew it was a perfect match. Alzheimer's took my grandfather from us. Stole him, really. My grandfather went from a brilliant scientist who loved and lived life to the fullest to a shell of a man who lived out his last days confined to a Geri chair. The heartbreak was eased by the kindness of strangers. Strangers like the good folks behind Team A.
I couldn't be more excited to be a part of this, made even more sweet by the two that will be by my side- my cousin Kaye Lani, also a part of Team A, and my friend Joe.  We will be easy to spot- just look for the three loudest laughs in the room :)
Sue Cain

Thanks for letting me lace them up for the team. I am really looking forward to meeting all of you, helping out those in need from Alzheimer's and having a great run! I have two stories to share.
My daughter-in-law Elise just lost her grandmother to Alzheimer’s last year and I lost one of the most accomplished colleagues, scientist mentors, I have had the pleasure to work. As background, I have been in a product development for life sciene companies my entire career and have had the privilege to work with many outstanding scientists in industry and academia. My colleague Jerry Litt was undoubtedly one of the most accomplished scientists I’ve ever worked with. He was thorough, creative and developed incredibly important products for the company and for the patients who were helped by the assays. Jerry passed away from Alzheimer’s just 10 years after retiring.
I love to run, I live in Needham Mass and we have a home in Quechee, VT. I have not run the Covered Bridges ½ yet but I run the routes all the time (river road, Woodstock). It is such a favorite place for me an hundred of other runners, walkers and bikers. I know all newcomers to the area will be so pleased by the scenery, rolling hills, Ottauquechee river and of course the signature bridges you’ll want t come back time and time again.  It will be a lot of fun for everyone. I’ve posted many Instagram photos over the years along the route so check out garlickr #runwruss #lovevermont if interested.
Russell Garlick

I have had 2 generations afflicted with Alzheimer's. I was only in high school when my grandfather's sudden death revealed that my grandmother at age 61 had Alzheimer's which had advanced to a point that she already needed round the clock assistance from our family which required balancing school and assisting my mother with her care. Now as an adult my mother has been diagnosed with the disease we saw steal her mother's memories,speech and her mobility. My father has unselfishly taken on the role of caregiver but has learned that this is a disease which not only takes its toll on the person battling the disease but also the people providing their care. Asking for assistance was a difficult decision, but she now attends an adult day center , providing him with much needed respite to allow him to recharge to provide the best care possible for my mother. Raising money for such a worthy cause will not only be an honor but a pleasure.
Julie Feierstein

My name is Christine Pike , I am from Attleboro, Ma and I have been a runner for many years.  I am looking forward to meeting everyone and honored to be part of Team that is running for memories...
My Grandmother (Nonnie) passed away from this devastating disease and now that I am a Grandmother I realize more now than ever that memories are one of the most precious things in life. 
My Grandfather passed away and within a few months my Grandmother whom lived upstairs to my parents had to move in to my parents house and my Mom became her caregiver.  The struggles my parents had were nothing compared to being the person living in a world that they could no longer do for themselves, the simple things we all take for granted like looking at our Grandchildren and knowing them to brushing our teeth are things my Grandmother struggled to do.
I will never forget the lost look in her eyes when she would look right at me, smile and say hi Joan.  I would say "Nonnie its me Chris" she would look so lost and confused.
I held her hand while she took her last breath and that day I know in my heart she knew who I was.
Christine Pike

Here is a little bit about me. I'm from Wenham, MA.  Growing up, in elementary school, every year we would do the Presidential Challenge, which included the mile run.  I loved it especially since I finished before many of the boys :-).   Each year, I would look forward to beating my time and running a little faster.  When I started playing sports at a more competitive level in Middle School, I realized that running kept me in shape between seasons.  Now, running is a pleasure and a great way to get away from it all.   
Honestly, my fingers were not fast enough to get a number online when the race registration opened, so I turned to a fundraising option.  I landed with TeamAlzheimers because a friend ran for your team in the past and loved your support.  My grandmother, Rosella Elliot, also suffered from and lost her battle to what was diagnosed as Alzheimers.  I saw first hand how difficult this disease can be, not only for the patient but also for the extended family.   Joining this team seemed like it was meant to be.  
Thank you!
Stephanie Graber 

I will be traveling from San Diego CA to run in this beautiful event.  I will be running with 3 women from New York. One of them is also on Team A.  We have been running together for a few years now, with a plan to run a half marathon in each of the 50 states.  Given that I just hit the big 6-0, it's a daunting goal!   But, it's all in the journey, isn't it????  After hearing about this scenic covered bridge event, we wanted to make this our Vermont state run.  I am particularly happy to run with these women as one of them is my longest-term friend, all the way back to fifth grade.  These events give us a chance to get together, touch base, and have some laughs.  
Additionally, I am happy to run with all of you representing Team Alzheimer.   My mom's two sisters have Alzheimer's.  One aunt lives close to me and, since she has no children, I am the one to make this long journey with her.   It is tough.  As such, I am happy to support an organization that supports those with this affliction.  
I am looking forward to meeting all of you.  
Terry Farrelly

I am Lyndie from Wenham, Massachusetts. This will be my first half marathon! I will certainly look forward to crossing that finish line on the day of the race.
I have never had a family or loved one suffer from Alzheimer's. I made the mistake of watching the movie "Still Alice" on a crowded plane ride and had no idea how deeply affected I would be by this cruel disease. Not pretty to be sobbing on a plane.
My mother works as a nurse at an adult daycare center that specializes in Alzheimer's care called the Spectrum Center. I have become more familiar with the destructive pathway of this disease.
I am so grateful for my family, well being, and good health. If I can help others along my journey by raising money, support, and awareness for a great cause then what an experience this will be. I could be sobbing all over again at the finish line.
Look forward to meeting everyone!
Lyndie Donovan

My name is Paul and I live in Boston, MA with my wife and two kids (11 & 9). I signed up for two reasons. One, my wife signed up online but then got timed out when trying to sign me up --  so neither of us made it! She is running for another charity. I chose Team A as my grandfather suffered for Alzheimer's for many years. It was very difficult to experience for the entire family. I also support the "Jog Your Memory" 5K in MA, an Alzheimer's event run by friends in the Boston area. I look forward to meeting all of you.
Paul Gamble

This Is What Makes Us Run

Over the next few weeks, we'll be introducing the dedicated group running for TeamAlzheimers in 2016. Let's meet these wonderful people and find out what makes them run!

I am originally from Pittsburgh, PA. I am not a natural athlete and took up running in high school in an effort to get quick efficient exercise. Since then I have used running as my “go to” form of exercise throughout years of graduate school, travel, and many adventures that don’t always leave time for other kinds of exercise. I am now a postdoctoral fellow at DHMC and I work extensively within our Healthy Aging and Brain Care clinic. 
Most of my early training has been in memory disorders clinics and so Alzheimer’s disease has been a presence in my professional life for many years. Something that really drew me to Team Alzheimer’s is the groups dedication to supporting those who provide support and care to patients and their families. While supporting research is important, finding good care has been a major challenge for many of my patients and their families. I am excited to run as a part of Team Alzheimer’s!
Stephanie J. Towns

In all honesty, I joined this team to be able to run the race but it also has some back story to it.
Years ago my father in law was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which he beat, and then prostate cancer, which he also beat. We have been very fortunate to still have him in our lives but with all of that there are bound to be some health problems. 
He has been fighting one type of infection or another over the years due to his surgeries. In the last year he started to head downhill fast. Forgetting where or who he was, leaving stove burners on throughout the day, much frustration and general confusion about everything. After months of testing they could not find the underlying issue. Upon a follow up appointment the doctor started talking to my in laws about his dementia that he was dealing with..this had never been discussed or mentioned to them before so needless to say they were in shock. 
After weeks of getting info about Dementia/Alzheimer's and trying to prepare for the future, we were told that he would need more and more tests because they weren't sure what was wrong. (As you can imagine this medical guessing game takes a significant emotional toll on all involved)
They finally did find another infection that they removed, but also said that they cannot be sure that it is the underlying problem, and this was also after about 3 months straight of antibiotics to prevent future episodes before they could schedule the surgery, which the put off twice because of an apparent double booking in the o.r. (All in all, a really draining experience throughout)
In the last year I have done a lot of research on this epidemic as well as preparing for a future that will in one way or another, probably be affected by it.
I look forward to meeting the team and enjoying a "nice run in Vermont"
John Barrett

I'm Hope from Cambridge, Massachusetts. I have been running the Covered Bridges Half Marathon annually since 2011 and look forward to it every year as a reason to get out for training runs on beautiful spring days, a spectacular course in a special place for me, and a moving community event that involves spectators and runners of all ages. My registration didn't go through this year and I couldn't imagine not running -- so found Team A, which is especially meaningful for me as my Grandma Connie suffered from dementia for the last ten years of her life. She lived in the Burlington, Vermont area, and would be appreciative of support for Alzheimer's care anywhere in northern New England. She faced her declining mental capacity with grace and humor, and was a role model for me until the day she died. I am delighted to have this opportunity to run in her honor.
Hope Stege

I’m from Ringwood, New Jersey, and have been an on-and-off runner since 1980, when I ran the Boston Freedom Trail Race with my brother when I was in college.  I’ve run only one marathon (New York, 1999, also with my brother), one half-marathon (Harwich, MA, 2015), but have run in many shorter races, including my Thanksgiving favorite, The Manchester (CT) Road Race, which I run every year with various family members.  I’m not very fast, but I like to be out there.  I’ve been on a pretty consistent program over the last two years, and hope to keep rolling with it.
I heard about this race through my daughter and son-in-law, but didn’t sign up in time.  Heard about Team A, and decided that would be a good way both to get in the race and to support a cause that is important to me.  My mother, Joan Tenny Reilly, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease back in 1995 when she was 63 years old, and died from it in 2002 at age 69. Before my mother had Alzheimer’s, I never truly appreciated how devastating the disease is. I tended to think of it as an old person forgetting people's names, misplacing car keys. etc. However, I came to understand that it means unlearning everything you ever learned to do. It meant my mom eventually lost the ability to read, talk, walk, take care of herself, and even eat. It meant everything her brain operated eventually shut down.  And, it took a serious toll on my Dad, who was her primary caregiver, and on the rest of the family. So, I am pretty motivated to support efforts to find effective treatments and a cure.
I’ve done a couple of Memory Walks, but this will be my first run in support of the cause! Looking forward to running with the Team!
Dave Reilly

My name is Cliff, and I've been a casual runner for the last 5 years or so. I've completed one marathon (turns out they are very difficult), several halves (including CBHM last year), and a smattering of shorter races. Like some others among us, I just wasn't quick enough on the draw to register in time this year and luckily I found Team A shortly after getting closed out. CBHM is far and away my favorite race - very well organized and the course is second to none.
Luckily no one in my family has suffered from Alzheimer's - my connection to Team A came professionally. After college, I worked for several years in the Boston University Alzheimer's Disease Center, assisting with studies of neurodegenerative disease. I've seen what Alzheimer's can take away from an individual and their family, and am very happy to be able to support programs to help ease the high human cost of providing care for a loved one who is ill. 
Get excited for June!  Also be sure to train on some hills - the one at mile 8 is no joke!
Cliff Robbins

I'm Jenny from Massachusetts. I'm also an on and off runner, mostly off till recently.  My first half-marathon was CBHM in 2005 with some friends.  That's probably the last time I was consistently running until last year when my 17th year old son came home and told me he wanted to join the Marines. I went through many mixed emotions thinking of my baby joining the Marines.  As a mother,  this is not the path I would have chosen for my son.  I  tunneled all my emotions into running.  He left for Parris Island in October for 3 months of boot camp training.   I decided before he left  I would run a half marathon for each month he was in training.  I recently ran 3 halves my last one in December and  I am now a proud mother of a Marine!  I know its going to be long emotional roller coaster ride for me and decided I will keep running.  
I decided to look up the CBHM and saw it was sold out. When I saw Team A, I knew I wanted to run for this team.  My father-in-law and godmother were both diagnosed with Alzheimer's at an early age.  My father-in-law died five years ago at the age of 76 and my godmother 2 years ago at the age of 72, both of Alzheimer's.  I am very happy to be on this team and looking forward to meeting everyone!
Jenny Hill

I live in York, Maine although I spend as much time as possible in Craftsbury, Vermont where I get to run on a lot of dirt roads with no traffic.  I have been running since I was 13 when I joined my junior high school track team with the hopes of doing the pole vault like the guy on the “Wheaties” cereal box.  However, I learned that I could not do the pole vault until high school, decided to do the mile…and have been enjoying the miles for nearly 45 years.
I ran for TeamAlzheimers last year after yet again not being able to get into CBHM.  I have run CBHM 5 times, and my wife has run in over 20, but she gets in early.  I am very happy to run for Team A and feel fortunate that none of my family and friends have yet to deal with Alzheimers.  However, am very concerned that some may and happy to find a way to support a great cause.  I am currently training for this years Boston Marathon so I hope that will help me be prepared for CBHM.  I was fortunate enough to win my old mans age group last year and will do my best to be competitive this year.
Good luck to all in training and thank you Jane for your efforts to coordinate and help a great program.
Enjoy those runs.
Steve Ransom

I personally have not had anyone effected by Alzheimer's disease except for my grandma but I was too young to understand the magnitude of the disease. Sadly I have since had many friends who have been effected by the disease. I am honored to run for this team! Looking forward to this beautiful run and all it encompasses.
Gretchen Williams

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

End-of-life care vastly more expensive for dementia patients than for others

By Tara Bahrampour October 26
Care in the last five years of life costs much more for patients with dementia than for those who die of heart disease, cancer, or other causes, a new study shows.
In addition to costing more across the board, out-of-pocket spending for patients with dementia is 81 percent higher than for people with other diseases. according to the study, conducted by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Dartmouth College and University of California, Los Angeles and funded by the National Institute on Aging.
The burden is disproportionately high when the patients are black, have less than a high school education or are widowed or unmarried women, said the study, which looked at patient and family expenses as well as Medicare and Medicaid spending.
Using data from 1,702 Medicare recipients 70 or older who died between 2005 and 2010, researchers found that the average cost of caring for those with dementia in the last five years of life was $287,038, compared with $175,136 for those who died of heart disease, $173,383 for those who died of cancer, or $197,286 for those who died of other causes. The data was supplied by the Health and Retirement Study.
One reason for the discrepancy is the fact that patients with dementia often require care for many years, and much of the care they need is not covered by insurance. Medicare does not cover health-related expenses such as homecare services, equipment, and non-rehabilitative nursing care, the study said.

“Those needs are beyond the realm of what Medicare pays for, so families have to either pay for it out of pocket or provide that care themselves, resulting in lost wages,” said Amy Kelly, associate professor of geriatrics and palliative medicine at Icahn and lead author of the report.
“With a serious illness like cancer, care may be expensive, but it may be more concentrated on the last year or two of life,” she said, adding that cancer care is also more likely to be provided by health care professionals and covered by insurance, while ongoing dementia care is often paid for or provided, unpaid, by family members.
While families at the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum may spend a lower absolute amount in out-of-pocket costs, they make up for it by providing more hours of unpaid care, which jeopardizes their financial outlook, Kelley said.
Race plays a dramatic role in how much is paid out-of-pocket as a proportion of wealth, the study found. For black dementia patients, the median spending amounted to 83.6 percent of their wealth, compared to 31.8 percent among non-black dementia patients. The burden was also striking for unmarried women with dementia, whose spending was 58.2 percent of their wealth, compared to 7.4 among married women.
“You can run through everything,” said John Haaga, acting director of the division of behavioral and social research at NIA.
The extent of the burden can be affected by external factors such as where a patient lives, with some states and local jurisdictions providing more services than others, Haaga added.
Experts have warned of a looming caregiver crisis as families are unable to meet the rising demands of an aging population with increasingly smaller families. Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, currently afflicts 5.1 million Americans and is projected to affect 13.8 million by 2050; those caring for people with Alzheimer’s typically spend more than $50,000 a year on related expenses.
As more people live into their 80s, 90s, and beyond, the incidence of dementia and related costs are expected to rise accordingly.
“This is already the biggest health care expense and it’s only going to get larger,” Haaga said.
The U.S. spends significantly more per capita on health care than other industrialized countries and less on social services.
“We need to ask ourselves how we can do better so that older adults are getting the care they deserve,” said Kelley, “I think this study puts a spotlight on this and asks if there’s more we can do such that the balance is drawn into place.”
Tara Bahrampour, a staff writer based in Washington, D.C., writes about aging and generations.