A report sponsored by the National Institute on Aging says that the cost of treating dementia now exceeds $159 billion per year — topping the treatment costs for both heart disease and cancer.
The actual cost of medical treatments for dementia are small, but they only make up about 16-25% of the total cost, the Los Angeles Times reports. The largest expense is the long-term care that sufferers require. Most end up with lengthy stays in nursing homes or with daily home health visits.
Also factored into the cost is the time and effort that patient’s friends and family have to take to care for those with the disease.
Dementia leads to people being unable to manage their day-to-day affairs. Patients may become unable to pay bills or safely care for themselves around the house. It’s considered a chronic aging illness and there is no cure.
The study was first reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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