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A jump in Alzheimer's deaths could mean increased caregiver burden

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Alzheimer's deaths are reportedly rising sharply.

From 1999 and 2014, death rates from Alzheimer's disease increased almost 55 percent. That's according to findings published Thursday in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Report.

An increasing percentage of people with the illness died at home instead of in medical facilities, which is a change from the past.

The Alzheimer's deaths in a nursing home or long-term care facility dropped from 67.5 percent in 1999 to just more than 54 percent in 2014. In hospitals, those deaths dropped from 14.7 percent to 6.6 percent.

In 1999, less than 14 percent of people with Alzheimer's spent the final days of their life at home; in 2014, it went up to 25 percent.

That may be an alarming trend because it likely means the burden is increasing on loved ones serving as home caregivers.

The Alzheimer's Association said for every person with Alzheimer's disease, there are three unpaid caregivers, who are usually family members and friends. And that can take a toll on their health. Caregivers make $9 billion in Medicare claims for their own medical care.