Your Stories: The Financial Toll of Alzheimer's

Real people share their experiences with the crippling costs of coping with the disease.

The cost of Alzheimer's is staggering. An estimated $200 billion was spent in 2012 alone to treat the 5.4 million Americans suffering from the disease. By 2050, when as many as 16 million people in the U.S. will be afflicted, the price tag is projected to jump to $1.1 trillion in today's dollars, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

In addition to the direct costs of care, friends and family members provide another $210 billion worth of unpaid care -- often at the expense of careers and savings. Here are the stories, in their own words, of how these unpaid caregivers and Alzheimer's sufferers manage to make ends meet under immensely challenging circumstances.

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Michael DeSenne
Executive Editor, Kiplinger.com
DeSenne made the leap to online financial journalism in 1998, just in time for the dot-com boom. After a stint with Dow Jones Newswires, dreams of IPO riches led him to SmartMoney.com, where over nine years he held several positions, including executive editor. He later served as the personal finance editor at HouseLogic.com and AARP.org. In 2011, he joined Kiplinger.com, where he focuses on content strategy, video, SEO and Web analytics. DeSenne has a BA from Williams College in Anthropology—a major deemed the absolute worst for career success by none other than Kiplinger.