The cost of caring for someone with Alzheimer's

An estimated 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, including 100,000 in Maryland. The national number is expected to nearly triple by 2050 if a treatment is not found. In Maryland, the report projects a 30% growth in the number of people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, now the sixth-leading cause of death in the commonwealth. Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the only disease in the top 10 causes of death in the U.S. without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression.

In this year’s report, the Alzheimer’s Association also conducted, for the first time, a nationwide survey on how the cost of dementia impacts the personal finances of families and friends caring for those with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. The report calls these individuals providing support “care contributors.” The report revealed:

  • Nearly half (48 percent) of care contributors must cut back on their own expenses – including basic necessities like food, transportation and medical care – to afford dementia-related care, while others must draw from their own savings or retirement funds.
  • Care contributors are 28 percent more likely than non-care contributors to eat less or go hungry because there wasn’t enough money to afford proper meals.
  • More than one-third of care contributors lost income due to employment disruption.
  • Care contributors reported an average $15,194 loss of household income, compared to the previous year, as a result of having to reduce their work hours or stop working altogether in order to meet the caregiving demands.

To view the entire report, visit