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In honor of National Alzheimer's Awareness Caregiver Month, many activists are pushing for a course of action that will help the nation and individuals meet the rising demands for Alzheimer's care, the Statesman Journal reports.
Someone in America develops the cognitive disease every 69 seconds, the news source reports. While there are about 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer's now, experts expect this number to grow to about 16 million by 2050.
"We need to take action now to avert this crisis," John Bartholonew, public policy director with the Alzheimer's Association Oregon Chapter, writes in the publication. "We need to set a goal for where we want to be and then determine how best to get there. If we don't do this, we will see insurance rates skyrocket, Medicare and Medicaid drained and millions more families suffering needlessly."
People caring for loved ones with Alzheimer's disease have a particularly difficult job, which is why it is often called a "family disease," according to the Family Caregiver Alliance. Many families can be affected by the chronic stress of watching their loved one's cognitive ability and memory decline, which is why it is important that an Alzheimer's plan includes comprehensive care for the entire family.