The Hidden Costs of Dementia Affect the Next Generation

Dementia is the gradual detoriation of mental functioning that affects memory,  thinking, language, judgment, behavior, and a person’s ability to perform normal daily activities.  According to a study by the RAND Corporation published in the Wall Street Journal, “Dementia is one of the country’s most expensive medical conditions, costing the  U.S. between $157 billion and $215 billion a year in medical care and other costs, such as lost wages for caregivers..”  click here to read, “Dementia’s Cost to Nation Piles Up.”

More often than not, people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (a form of dementia) are often cared for by spouses and children.  The emotional, physical and financial effects of caregiving can be devistating on the caregiver and add to significant costs and demands on our health-care system.  As one caregiver noted,  ”These are hidden issues that…are wiping out families.  It doesn’t stop at just the person with Alzheimer’s and their spouse. It’s going to the next generation.”

 

 

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