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New report shows 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or other dementia

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The numbers on Alzheimer's disease continue to add up.

The 2013 Alzheimer's Disease Facts & Figures report, released March 19, show one in three seniors dies in the United States with Alzheimer's or another dementia.

While deaths from other major diseases, such as heart disease and stroke continue to decline, the Alzheimer's death rate continues to rise, increasing 68 percent from 2000 to 2010, according to the report.

The report also shows 2.3 million Americans are "long-distance caregivers," for people with Alzheimer's disease, and the costs for that long-distance care can be twice as high as the usual, local caregiver.

"West Virginia is home to more than 48,000 people living with Alzheimer's disease," Alzheimer's Association West Virginia Chapter Executive Director Jane Marks said in a news release. "With deaths from this disease continuing to rise, it is clear that urgent, meaningful action is necessary.

"Our community needs to come together to fight against this disease, particularly as more and more people age into greater risk for developing a disease that today has no cure."

Alzheimer's was reported as the underlying cause of death for 83,494 people, according to 2010 data from the Alzheimer's Association, and the 2013 Facts and Figures report shows that about 450,000 people will die with Alzheimer's disease in 2013.

The report indicates more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's disease, and without medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or stop the disease, that number could reach 13.8 million by 2050.

Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers had $9.1 billion in health care costs of their own in 2012, according to the report, and total payments for health and long-term care services for people with Alzheimer's and other dementias will total $203 billion in 2013.