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Rising Alzheimer's creates strain on caregivers

(AP) Rising Alzheimer's creates strain on caregivers
By LAURAN NEERGAARD
AP Medical Writer
WASHINGTON
A new report says nearly half of all seniors who need some form of long-term care have dementia.

More than 35 million people worldwide, including 5 million in the U.S., are estimated to have Alzheimer's or a similar dementia. The devastating brain disease is on the rise as the global population ages.

A World Alzheimer Report out Thursday examined the strain the disease puts on caregivers. Families provide much of the world's Alzheimer's care, stress that can harm the caregiver's own health. Plus, families are getting smaller, with fewer children to care for their aging parents.

Eventually, many patients wind up in assisted living or a nursing home. The Alzheimer's report found cognitive impairment is the strongest predictor of who will move into a care facility within two years.

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