Dying at Home

Alzheimer’s if the primary cause of dementia in the US. It current impacts 5.5 million

Incidence of Alzheimer’s by county in US

American adults, and that number is expected to increase to 13.8 million by mid-century.

What’s important is the shift in Alzheimer deaths from medical facilities to the home.

  • In 1999, 67.5% of Alzheimer’s deaths occurred in a nursing home or long term care facility; by 2014, that figure had fallen to 54.1%
  • In 1999, 14.7% of Alzheimer’s  deaths were in a hospital; in 2014, that had fallen to 6.6%.
  • In 1999, 13.9% of these deaths occurred at home; by 2014, this number had risen to 24.9%.
  • In 2014, 6.1% of the deaths were in hospice care.

What we can’t tell from these data are whether families are bringing loved ones home right before end of life, or whether they simply can’t afford the high cost of long term care facilities.

The data also don’t tell us the extent to which families are now relying on home health care services in lieu of nursing homes.

Sources: Taylor CA, Greenlund SF, McGuire LC, Lu H, Croft JB. Deaths from Alzheimer’s Disease — United States, 1999–2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:521–526. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6620a1


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