A 2020 report from the Alzheimer’s Association released on March 11 reveals a severe shortage of geriatricians in Vermont.

The 2020 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report shows the Alzheimer’s burden across the country and here in Vermont continues to grow, with nearly all disease related statistics (prevalence, mortality, cost and impact on caregivers) increasing.

An accompanying special report reveals a shortage of dementia care specialists. A state-by-state analysis in the report examines the number of geriatricians needed to meet future care needs of seniors living with dementia in 2050. It revealed severe shortages in 14 states, including Vermont.

Last year, there were five practicing geriatricians in the state, according to the report. It is estimated that 32 are needed to meet the future dementia care needs of Vermont seniors in 2050—a 540% increase.

In addition, a new nationwide survey finds many primary care physicians say the medical profession is not ready to meet future care needs of the growing number of individuals living with dementia.

Insights from the 2020 Facts and Figures report:

82 percent of primary care physicians say they are on the front lines of providing dementia care.

87 percent of PCPs expect an increase in patients with Alzheimer’s or other dementias over the next five years. Half (50%) of PCPs believe the medical profession and their colleagues are not prepared to meet the expected increase in demand.

Nearly 2 in 5 report “never” or only “sometimes comfortable” making a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other dementias.

Nearly one-third report “never” or only “sometimes comfortable” answering patient questions about Alzheimer’s or other dementias.

For more information, visit www.alz.org/vermont.

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