Working staves off Alzheimer's, long-term care needs

Armen Hareyan's picture

A British study has concluded that working beyond normal retirement age appears to keep Alzheimer's dementia and the need for costly long-term care at bay.

Researchers examined medical records of men whose Alzheimer's symptoms emerged around age 75. They found that all other factors being equal, the symptoms were delayed about seven weeks for each extra year the men worked. Perhaps it's evidence that if you don't use it, you'll lose it. Alzheimer's disease creates the longest and most costly need for long term health care the organization reports.


Some 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and every 70 seconds someone else develops Alzheimer’s. The direct and indirect costs of Alzheimer's and other types of dementia to Medicare, Medicaid and businesses amount to more than $148 billion each year. Over a fourth of long-term care insurance claims (27%) are for Alzheimer's according to AALTCI. It's also the leading cause for home care claims accounting for nearly a fifth (17%) of all claims.

An AARP survey found that financial need by older Americans was the number one reason for staying in the workforce. Additional high-ranking reasons included staying active and psychological benefits. One in five respondents indicated non-financial reasons including appreciating the sense of usefulness.

Written by Jesse Slome from the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance