Increasing Alzheimer’s Awareness

By Rob Gaunt, MSN, FNP-C
Faculty, College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

Nurse with a purple Alzheimer's ribbon

Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, affects nearly five million people over the age of 60 in the United States. That number doubles after the age of 65. It has become the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. This amounts to one in three seniors or death from Alzheimer’s every 65 seconds.

In 2019 the cost of caring for Alzheimer’s is estimated to be $290 billion. By 2050 it could be a high a      $1.1 trillion. Most of the burden to care for these individuals will fall on family, providing the care in their homes. More than 16 million Americans are performing this care. Of that number, 60 percent are children of the person with Alzheimer’s and 16 percent are spouses.

They provide nearly 18.5 billion hours of care annually valued at $234 Billion. Alzheimer’s account for twice as many hospitals stays per year. This will amount to $195 billion in Medicare and Medicaid payments in 2019 alone.

Some of you may become involved in this care as provider’s, nurses, and therapists. Still, others could be on the leading edge of providing much-needed research in developing new therapies and medications.

Are you as Grand Canyon University Nursing students prepared to take on the challenge? As a nurse in the hospital, home care, or hospice setting be ready to take of these individuals. Our nurse practitioner students will need to know the latest assessment and treatment guidelines.

Our student’s in STEM programs, are you ready to discover the newest tools to provide early detection for this disease? Are you up to the challenge of developing new therapeutic treatments and medications to help these individuals? For all of our GCU students and graduates, find your purpose in helping those with Alzheimer’s disease.

The College of Nursing and Health Care Professions helps students prepare for rewarding careers in the healthcare field. Learn more by visiting our website or contacting us using the green Request More Information button at the top of the page


  • Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures. (n.d.). Retrieved from

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.