There are currently more than 580,000 Floridians aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s. It is expected that this number will grow to 720,000 by 2025. Physicians worry that the medical profession is not prepared to face this demand and believe that there are not enough options for continuing education and training. They also agree that dementia care is a rapidly evolving area of medicine that requires ongoing learning and training. In 2019 there were 348 practicing geriatricians in Florida. It is estimated that 1,365 are needed to meet the future dementia care needs of Florida’s seniors in 2050.
“With the number of Florida residents living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias increasing, it’s critically important that we take steps to ensure primary care physicians and other providers across the state are fully prepared to meet current and future dementia care needs,” said Angela McAuley, regional leader for the Alzheimer’s Association in Florida. “The Alzheimer’s Association is committed to helping primary care physicians and all who provide care to Florida residents living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.”
Alzheimer’s Disease is the most expensive disease in the United States costing $305 billion a year. In Florida alone there are 1,565 emergency department visits per 1,000 people with dementia.
Due to the cost of the disease many families can’t provide paid care and are left caring for their loved ones on their own. More than 1.2 million Florida residents serve as unpaid family caregivers, providing over 1.3 billion hours of unpaid care. Approximately two-thirds of caregivers are women, and one-third of dementia caregivers are daughters.
“The 2020 ‘Facts and Figures’ report shows that Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias continue to be a significant burden for too many Florida families,” said McAuley. “We must continue to work aggressively to advance new treatments that can stop or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, while also continuing to provide care and support services to help all those affected.”
The first survivor of Alzheimer’s is out there. Contact Kathy Heldman at 727.316.9379 to make a donation or learn more about other giving opportunities in your area.