According to the US Census Bureau, by 2025 roughly 20% of the population will be over the age of 65. The Alzheimer’s Association states that one in nine, or an estimated 5 million American older adults have Alzheimer’s disease, while the Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study (ADAMS) estimates that nearly 14% of people aged 71 and older in the United States have dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association predicts that by 2050, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in the United States will expand to between 13.8 million and 16 million.
Dementia impacts multiple functions, including memory, communication and language, attention, reasoning and judgment, and visual perception. Individuals progressing through the stages of dementia eventually lose the ability to communicate verbally, may be unable to recognize longtime friends and family members, and will ultimately need help with even the most basic activities of daily living.