Data Shows Unpaid Caregivers Spend Billions To Help Alzheimer's Patients

Apr 13, 2016

Credit Alzheimer's Association of Greater Indiana / Facebook

330,000 unpaid caregivers are providing an estimated $4.6 billion in care to people suffering from Alzheimer's disease, says a new report from the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Indiana. 

Over 100,000 Hoosiers are living with the disease.

Linda Altmeyer, Program Director for the Greater Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, says the new data highlights other sacrifices that unpaid caregivers make.   

“Often people quit their job or reduce their number of hours and then often they’ll go without food, they’ll reduce their number of prescriptions because they’re trying to take care of somebody with a disease that’s very expensive,” she says.

The 2016 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report also finds that nearly half of care contributors dipped into retirement or savings. One of these caregivers is Sheryl Chamberlain, whose husband who was diagnosed three years ago.

“He had some other health issues that slowed down his work and he owned his own business therefore there wasn’t a continuous paycheck coming in,” she says. “So we have pretty much gone through all of our retirement money.”

Total payments for Alzheimer’s care is projected to increase to more than $1 trillion in spending by 2050, that’s up from $236 billion this year.