U.S. Adults Fear Alzheimer’s, But Nearly Nine Out of 10 Have Done Nothing to Prepare

U.S. adults fear Alzheimer’s disease more than heart disease, stroke or diabetes, but nearly nine out of 10 have taken no steps to prepare for it, according to a new survey.

U.S. Adults Fear Alzheimer's, But Nearly Nine Out of 10 Have Done Nothing to Prepare

MetLife Foundation Alzheimer’s Survey: What America Thinks,” conducted by Harris Interactive, also found that more than a third of U.S. adults have a family member or friend suffering from Alzheimer’s, and three out of five are concerned that they may someday have to provide for or care for someone with the mind-robbing disease.

While eight out of 10 adults surveyed said they think it is important to plan ahead for the possibility of getting Alzheimer’s, 87 percent said they had taken no steps to prepare for the possibility of Alzheimer’s.

“Our survey clearly shows that although adults fear Alzheimer’s and the devastating effects it has on individuals, families and communities, few have done anything to prepare for a disease that destroys a person’s memory, personality and ability to function independently,” said Sibyl Jacobson, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation.

“The greatest risk factor in Alzheimer’s is age, and, as Americans live longer, the threat of Alzheimer’s will continue to increase,” Jacobson added.

Some 4.5 million Americans now have Alzheimer’s, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, and that number expected to nearly quadruple to 16 million by 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

One in 10 people over 65 have the disease, and the rate is placed at closer to 50 percent for those over 85. The Alzheimer’s Association and the National Institute on Aging estimate the cost of current care exceeds $100 billion annually.

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