The nation’s 65-and-older population has grown rapidly since 2010, driven by the aging of Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964. The 65-and-older population grew by over a third (34.2% or 13,787,044) during the past decade, and by 3.2% (1,688,924) from 2018 to 2019 (U.S. Census). As the aging population in the United States continues to grow, the number of Americans with dementia is very likely to increase.
Above the age of 65, a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia doubles roughly every five years. It is estimated that dementia affects one in 14 people over 65 and one in six over 80 (Alzheimer’s Society). More women are affected by dementia than men. Worldwide, women with dementia outnumber men 2 to 1.
California (primarily), Florida, Texas, and New York present the strongest opportunity for Vera’s launch.
- 690,000 people aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s in California.
- 11.7% of people aged 45 and older have subjective cognitive decline.
- 1,624,000 family caregivers bear the burden of the disease in California.
- 1.8 billion hours of unpaid care provided by Alzheimer’s caregivers.
- $24 billion is the value of unpaid care.
- $4.2 billion is the cost of Alzheimer’s to the state Medicaid program.
These numbers show that a public health approach is necessary to lessen the burden and enhance the quality of life for those living with cognitive impairment and their families (Source: Alz.org). We believe that California will be a great place to bring Vera to market due to the state’s early adoption of new technology solutions set forth by Silicon Valley.
Strategic Growth Opportunities
Vera’s leadership team has identified three key areas of strategic growth:
- Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) is a Medicare and Medicaid program that helps people meet their health care needs in the community instead of going to a nursing home or other care facility.
- The PACE Model of Care is recognized among consumers, health care providers, and government leaders as the most innovative, accessible, valuable, and effective model of care promoting the highest level of independence for individuals with significant health care needs (CMS).
- To qualify for PACE, a person must be age 55 or over, live in a PACE service area, and be certified by the state to need a nursing home level care.
- National PACE Association (NPA) was founded to provide leadership and support for the growth, innovation, quality, and success of the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE®) Model of Care.
- To explore new PACE markets, NPA worked with members and other stakeholders to identify individuals who might benefit from a program based on the PACE model of care but currently cannot be served by PACE organizations because of the limitation of the PACE statute.
- NPA is working with its members, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and Congress to adopt the PACE model to serve other high-need, high-cost populations, such as individuals with intellectual or physical disabilities or persons with multiple chronic conditions.
- AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans ages 50 years and older.
- Leverage AARP’s Staying Sharp campaign to take control of Brain Health and offer Vera discounts to AARP members.
- Partner with University of California, San Francisco Insitute for Neurodegenerative Diseases (IND)
- The mission is to promote and conduct multidisciplinary clinical and basic research to increase understanding of the causes and mechanisms leading to brain dysfunction and degeneration in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration, and related disorders that occur increasingly with advancing age. The overarching goal is to find better ways to diagnose and treat these disorders. Implicit in this mission is a commitment to training the next generation of researchers.
These strategic partnerships with NPA, AARP, and higher education institutions such as the University of California, San Francisco Insitute for Neurodegenerative Diseases (IND) will not only support Vera’s growth, collaboration, and continual innovation, but will also allow Vera to be seen as a credible, trustworthy solution for individuals with dementia and cognitive impairments and their families and caregivers.