In a press conference held by Marguerite Blais, (Quebec's Minister responsible for the elderly) she announced a $200 million fund to help Alzheimer's care-givers. You can read a French account of the Laval press conference Here.
The Minister cited the need for these funds because, according to her, fully one in five baby-boomers will develop Alzheimer's before the year 2020.
"That can't be right" commented my wife. "Did she really say one in five?"
"Dunno' I said, "Let's back up the PVR"
Yup, the Minister is quoted as saying that 20% percent of boomers will get the dreaded disease and will do so within 11 years.
So off it was to Google to check out the facts. Perhaps the Minister should do so as well, before she shoots off her mouth.
"Based on a recent report prepared by the Government Accounting Office and sent to Congress, and the National Vital Statistics Reports, prepared by the National Center for Health Statistics, we estimate the following lifetime risks for the average person from age 50 through 90;
|If you |
are now age
|Your lifetime risk |
|Odds that you |
won't get Alzheimers
Okay that sounds a lot better, but let's check out one more source.
The Alzheimer's Association has a slight higher set of numbers which shows that women are twice as likely as men to get the disease. A average of both numbers indicates that people over 55 have 13% risk of developing the disease over the balance of their lifetime.
Incidentally, all these statistics relate to people who have already reached an age of 55, because there are no reliable lifetime statistics in existence.
So back to the minister.
According to the Alzheimer's Association, if you're 55 (baby boomer), you've got a 13% chance of getting the disease over the rest of your entire life (You could live to 100). The chances for a you developing the disease in your first eleven years after 55 (as the Minister suggested), is probably no greater that 4%, roughly.
A final note on the disease.
The notion of the drooling idiot with post-it notes stuck on everything in the house is not the case for most people with the disease.
Cases range from mild to severe.