Whether it’s reached your doorstep or not yet, Alzheimer’s impacts us all.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia that worsens over time, affecting people’s memory, thinking, sensory functions and contributes to a devolving ability to care for one’s most basic and essential needs.
It does not simply touch the person with the disease, rather their entire family and society connected to that family as well. According to the nonprofit Alzheimer’s Association – Greater Michigan Chapter, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia impacts 280,000 people in Michigan.
One in 8 residents, age 65 and older (13 percent) have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s – the age bracket at most risk for the disease and other forms of dementia.
Nearly half of all men and women who reach age 85 will develop the devastating disease. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death, trending upward with the aging of Baby Boomers.
Seventy percent of those with dementia require home-care by a volunteer family or friend caregiver. The state of Michigan can save approximately $35,000 a year for every Medicaid-eligible person who remains out of a nursing home, by providing the necessary training and support to caregivers.
In 2011, 507,176 Michigan caregivers gave more than 577 million hours of care worth an estimated $6.9 billion.
Nationwide, 416 Baby Boomers turn 65 every hour, totaling 10,000 every day. Public financial support is running thin with an increasing number of individuals, caregivers, and families requiring services.
Alzheimer’s is closer to you and your family than you may know. Join the effort when you hear your local communities walking for a devastating disease that grows by the second.
Attorney Christopher J. Berry is a Metro Detroit estate planning and elder law lawyer who helps families, seniors, veterans and business owners with their important legal needs. Oakland County estate planning lawyer, Christopher Berry is a partner in the Bloomfield Hills law firm of Witzke Berry PLLC. Mr. Berry practices in the areas of estate planning, business, probate, veterans benefits & Medicaid planning. Follow Christopher on Twitter @chrisberryesq