Why costs for treating dementia fall primarily on patients and their families

August 25, 2017

Assistant Professor Eric Jutkowitz reports that around 5 million consumers in the U.S. suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or a related neurological condition, and that number will only swell as Baby Boomers get older.

Unfortunately, these conditions can be very costly to treat, so who will be footing the bill when the number of affected consumers begins to surge? While many hope that the federal government will step in with programs like Medicare and Medicaid, a new simulation created by researchers at Brown University says that probably won’t be the case.

"A lot of people, I think, believe that Medicare will pay for their long-term care," said assistant professor and lead author Eric Jutkowitz. "That's not the case. Private long-term care insurance may help, but benefits can be exhausted and few families have policies. For a disease like dementia, the burden and cost falls on the individual and the family."