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A Brief Synopsis of Media Reports on The Shriver Report Findings

A Brief Synopsis of Media Reports on The Shriver Report Findings

Chances are good that you know someone with Alzheimer’s Disease or another dementia or that a member of your own family has been personally affected by it. According to Maria Shriver, author of “The Shriver Report: a Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s”, every 72 seconds, some develops Alzheimer’s Disease. She goes on to say that 1 out of every 8 people will develop Alzheimer’s Disease by the age of 65 and that by the age of 85, that number will be 1 out of 2. Those are incredible numbers!

We have 5 million people in the United States suffering from Alzheimer’s disease today and that rate is expected to triple by 2050. With 78 million baby boomers beginning to reach the age of 65, the possibilities are scary.

Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death and YET, government funding for research is just 500 million dollars per year. Compare this to the 6 BILLION dollars that cancer research receives and the 5 BILLION dollars for heart disease research and it’s easy to see why we are not prepared as a nation to handle this.

It’s costs the average family $57,000.00 a year (out-of-pocket) to care for a person with Alzheimer’s disease who is not in a facility. Facility care can be much more costly. When a family uses up all their financial resources, then the patient turns to medicaid for assistance. (Can you even imagine what this will do to our country’s budget?)

The Shriver Report also acknowledges that this is a woman’s disease. 65% of those who have Alzheimer’s disease are women AND 60% of the caregivers for those who have the disease are women.

So what are some of the things that the average person can do?

First of all, says Dr. Roberta Brinton, a neuroscientist in Los Angeles, “maintain your brain health. That means don’t develop Type II diabetes.” Exercise, eating a nutritionally sound diet, and better health are armor against developing the disease later on. Women with type II diabetes, vascular disease or depression have a much higher chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease. (Although it was specifically stated, I’m sure that the same applies to men.) And caregivers of dementia patients are 6X more likely to get the disease themselves so if you are a caregiver, you need to be extra careful.

One other thing that can be done to help is to volunteer for trials if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with the disease. You can find current trials listed at or at the National Institute on Aging ()

For further information, visit The Shriver Report at