Alzheimer’s debate hopes to alleviate costs for caregivers

Jasmine Phu

September 13, 2011

With more than 5.4 million people in America currently affected by Alzheimer's disease, caregivers are turning to the government to create a new plan aiding those suffering, The Washington Post reports.

As more people are predicted to develop the neurological disorder, members of congress and The White House as well as family caregivers are trying to find a way to combat the problem – without leaving anyone without care.

The Obama administration is currently creating the first Alzheimer's plan to cover both extensive research and to promote health on treatments and how to take care of a loved one battling the disorder.

"This is a unique opportunity, maybe an opportunity of a lifetime in a sense, to really have an impact on this disease," Dr. Ronald Petersen of the Mayo Clinic, who will act as chair for a committee advising the government later this month, told the news outlet.

According to the source, by 2050 anywhere between 13 million and 16 million Americans are projected to develop Alzheimer's – costing $1 trillion in medical care and nursing expenses.

Currently, nearly 15 million people are giving over $200 billion in unpaid care to a person suffering from the disease.

As the new bill is being addressed, caregivers worried about their loved one suffering from Alzheimer's may want to install a medical alert system to give a parent an easy way to get medical assistance when they're alone.