A new survey of primary care physicians appearing in the Alzheimer’s Association 2020 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report finds nearly 9 in 10 primary care physicians expect to see an increase in people living with dementia during the next five years, but half say the medical profession is not prepared to meet this demand.
The new report estimates there are currently more than 5 million Americans 65+ living with Alzheimer’s – a number expected to nearly triple by 2050.
The 2020 Facts and Figures report provides and in-depth look at the latest national and state-specific statistics on Alzheimer’s prevalence, incidence, mortality, costs and impact on caregivers.
New disease-related statistics for Maryland revealed the following:
· Number of Maryland residents aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s: 110,000
· Estimated number of Maryland residents living with Alzheimer’s in 2025: 130,000
· Percentage change: 18.25
· Statewide deaths from Alzheimer’s disease (2018): 1,122
· Number of Maryland residents serving as unpaid family caregivers: 294,000
· Total hours of unpaid care provided: 335,000,000
· Total value of unpaid care: $4,389,000,000
The new Facts and figures report shows that Alzheimer's disease and other dementias continue to impact Maryland families,” says Cass Naugle, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Maryland Chapter. “We'll continue our effort to advance treatments that can stop or slow the progression of the disease as we offer care and support services to affected individuals and families."
In addition to new state disease-related data, for the first time, the Facts and Figures accompanying special report, “On the Front Lines: Primary Care Physicians and Alzheimer’s Care in America,” examines the experiences, exposure, training and attitudes related to dementia care among primary care physicians (PCPs), recent medical school graduates, and recent residency program graduates, now in primary care practice.
The report found that 82% PCPs say they are on the front lines of providing dementia care, but not all are confident in their care for patients with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
While one-third of PCPs say they refer dementia patients to specialists at least once a month, more than half say there are not enough dementia care specialists in their area to meet patient demand, a problem more common in rural areas. According to the report, 44% of PCPs practicing in large cities and 54% in suburbs reported there are not enough specialists in their area, while 63% practicing in small cities or towns and 71% in rural areas noted this challenge.
To see more about the report: click here.