A new report from the Milken Institute estimates that Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia (ADRD) treatment expenditures will triple to $45 billion by 2040 and more than double from there, to $102 billion by 2060.
The gender gap remains, yet the cost of treatments for men living with ADRD is catching up to the cost for women. Women account for approximately 20% more cases than men. However, the medical expenditures of all treatments per man living with ADRD have increased by 37% compared with 3% for women over the same period.
When it comes to the burden of care costs, the authors also found a widening gender gap. Women account for 20% more ADRD cases than men, and dementia care costs associated with women are 44% higher than those for men due to longevity and social factors. It is more likely that women will leave work to provide unpaid care for others, for example. By the time women need care themselves, often they are left to rely on Medicaid.
This information is of particular importance to the nursing field, as 29% of all ADRD costs are related to home health care.
Racial and ethnic disparities also were highlighted in the report. Dementia is more prevalent in Black and Hispanic individuals, who also are less likely to report receiving treatment compared with White individuals.
According to the report, assisted living and memory care providers should focus on the evidence-based ways to improve brain health and reduce dementia risk. These methods includes prioritizing regular physical activity, providing nutrition-packed meals, and managing high blood pressure and other co-occurring conditions such as urinary tract infections. The Milken Institute also advises supporting the comprehensive tech-enabled care models of memory care.