Arizona Healthcare Financial Management Association (AZHFMA)

Arizona will see a 43% increase in Alzheimer's in the next 7 years

The cost of caring for people with Alzheimer's or other dementias will surpass $277 billion nationwide, according to a new report released by the Alzheimer's Association.

By 2050, that number is expected to jump to more than $1.1 trillion, according to the 2018 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report.

Arizona is on track to feel the brunt of those rising costs, as the number of individuals living in the Grand Canyon State will grow by 42.9 percent in the next seven years - making Arizona the second highest growth rate in the country.

"The Alzheimer's growth rate in Arizona is stunning," says Dan Lawler, Alzheimer's Association Desert Southwest Chapter Executive Director. "It is time to take notice. It is time to take action. We must change the trajectory of this disease."

Of the 5.7 million Americans living with Alzheimer's dementia, 140,000 are Arizona residents. By 2025, that number is expected to increase by 42.9 percent, up to 200,000 people in Arizona, according to the report.

In Arizona, 2,943 died with Alzheimer's in 2015, the most recent figures available.

The disease also is taking its toll on caregivers, he said.

In 2017, 16 million Americans provided an estimated 18.4 billion hours of unpaid care in the form of physical, emotional and financial support - a contribution valued at $232.1 billion. The difficulties associated with providing this level of care are estimated to have resulted in $11.4 billion in additional health care costs for Alzheimer's and other dementia caregivers in 2017.

Angela Gonzales, Senior Reporter, Phoenix Business Journal, covers health, biotech and education.