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Florida's growing Alzheimer's population requires more research

The number of Floridians affected with Alzheimer's is expected to grow by nearly 50 percent in the next decade, putting a strain on Florida's health care system and increasing costs for taxpayers, according to a new report from Florida TaxWatch. The report, "Florida's Looming Alzheimer's Crisis," calls for additional research into Alzheimer's to prepare for the state's aging population and to seek a viable preventative treatment.

"Florida must take steps to ensure the state has a sustainable long-term health care system to provide care for all Floridians," said Dominic M. Calabro, President and CEO of Florida TaxWatch, the independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institute and government watchdog. "Additional research will help Florida identify how to reduce costs associated with treating the elderly population, and allow Florida health care providers to deliver the highest-quality care to its patients."

Alzheimers in FloridaBy 2025, Florida is expected to have more than 700,000 Alzheimer's patients, who each had an average annual cost of care up to $56,000 in 2010. Better research into Alzheimer's disease could help reduce these treatment costs and allow for cost-effective quality care, according to the report.

"With more than 480,000 Floridians affected by Alzheimer's today, the financial, health, and emotional costs to caregivers is tremendous and will only continue to rise," said Tamara Y. Demko, JD, MPH, Director of the Florida TaxWatch Center for Health & Aging. "To realize the greatest cost-savings for Florida and ameliorate the impact to our aging population and their families, we must invest in finding treatments and possible preventive therapies now, before any damage, fiscal or physiological, becomes irreversible."

As the Alzheimer's population grows, the costs for treatment are expected to also rise. Funding more Alzheimer's research in Florida should result in lower cost of care, improved health outcomes for patients, and a high-return on investment for Florida taxpayers.

Learn how Alzheimer's research could help patients and taxpayers, see the report, "Florida's Looming Alzheimer's Crisis."

Florida Tax Watch

Florida TaxWatch is a statewide, non-profit, non-partisan research institute that over its 33-year history has become widely recognized as the watchdog of citizens' hard-earned tax dollars.  Its mission is to provide the citizens of Florida and public officials with high quality, independent research and education on government revenues, expenditures, taxation, public policies and programs and to increase the productivity and accountability of Florida state and local government. Its support comes from homeowners and retirees, small and large businesses, philanthropic foundations, and professional associations. On the web at www.FloridaTaxWatch.org.