A new survey by MetLife Foundation finds that Alzheimer's disease is the second most feared disease among American adults, behind only cancer. When asked which of five major diseases they are most afraid, 31% said Alzheimer's, while 41% said cancer. Heart disease and stroke were named by 8% each, while only 6% said they fear diabetes most.
A majority of those polled (62%) admit they know little or nothing about Alzheimer's disease, leading to the fact that few are planning for its possibility. Only 18%, fewer than one in five people, have developed any such plan, which may include care options, housing arrangements and/or financial planning.
Currently, more than five million people have Alzheimer's. That number is expected to rise sharply as the Baby Boom generation reaches retirement age. 44% of adults indicate they have family members or friends with Alzheimer's.
The main survey findings include:
--Nearly a quarte (23%) of adults is extremely or very concerned that they may someday have to provide care for a loved one with Alzheimer's, an increase from 18% in 2006.
--Only 18% of all adults say they have made any plans for the possibility of getting Alzheimer's, compared to 12% in 2006.
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