Texas Alzheimer’s Cases to Increase One-Third By 2025

The number of Alzheimer’s cases in Texas is estimated to increase by one-third by the year 2025, according to the 2013 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts & Figures report.

Alzheimer’s and Seniors in Texas

There are currently 2.6 million seniors living in Texas and that number is expected to double by 2030.

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia in the United States, with more than 5 million people currently afflicted by the disease. The average cost of Alzheimer’s in the United States is between $157 and $215 billion annually. In the past year, it has surpassed cancer and cardiovascular disease as the most expensive illness in the nation.

Alzheimer’s Research in Texas and Beyond

While there is no cure to Alzheimer’s, many studies are being done throughout Texas in an attempt to decode the mysterious disease. One Dallas couple participated in one of many Alzheimer’s research studies at UT Southwestern in an attempt to slow cognitive decline.

The Texas Alzheimer’s Research and Care Consortium (TARCC) is an organization with physical sites around Texas that works to “improve early diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Caring for Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s

In Texas alone, 1.3 million caregivers provided 1.5 billion hours of unpaid care in 2012, valued at $18.2 billion, according to the recent report. While many family members volunteer to care for their loved one, it can quickly become overwhelming. According to a recent study, Americans who have been caregivers for loved ones called it both worthwhile and stressful.

If in-home care from loved ones isn’t an option, nursing homes are usually the next choice. The Texas Long Term Care Partnership program estimates the average cost of a private room in a nursing home is over $61,000 a year. Most people cannot afford to pay these costs of out pocket, and may end up exhausting their assets and eventually, relying on Medicaid.

Is There a Solution?

Long Term Care Insurance can’t help you avoid Alzheimer’s, but it can help you pay for treatment and care. A government study estimates 7 in 10 seniors will need Long Term Care at some point.

Investing in Long Term Care Insurance and planning for your future ensures that you do not burden loved ones with the task of your care. It will also help you protect your hard earned assets by avoiding the high cost of nursing homes or paid in-home care.

Texas provides many great Long Term Care Insurance policies through their Partnership program. Read more here.

The Best Cities for Retirement in Texas

Finding the best cities to retire to isn’t always easy. Fortunately, MarketWatch frequently compiles a list of the greatest cities in a certain state for retirement and has done so for Texas.

Retiring in Texas

Texas is a great state for retirement for a number of reasons. The warm weather, lack of a state income tax, and low cost of living make it a hugely appealing place for retirees to spend their Golden Years. If you already live in Texas or are considering moving to Texas once you leave the workforce, consider these four cities, which were listed in the recent MarketWatch “Retire Here, Not There” Texas edition as the best retirement spots in the state.


Austin is a quirky, unique city filled with lots of character. You will see every type of person in Austin and it seems like every one just gets along! The downtown area, home to the University of Texas at Austin, is filled with shops and fun activities for people of all age to enjoy. The city is known for its live music scene and massive amounts of good food. There are plenty of hiking and bike trails that surround the city and offer great spots to relax in the woods after a busy night downtown. The median cost of a home is $196,200 and the city population is 767,250.

Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi is a beach city on the Gulf of Mexico that is a perfect retirement spot for those who love to dig their feet in the sand. The city has more than 100 miles of beaches and is also home to a bustling downtown area with shops, museums, and more restaurants than you could ever want! The five golf courses in the area and major hospital system make it ideal for a retirement spot, since besides the leisure, it also boasts a reliable medical system, which is important to retirees. It’s quite humid in the summer, like any town on the water, but has a wonderful vibe that attracts tourists and retirees alike. The median home cost is $103,500 and the city population is 287,641.


Georgetown is similar to Austin, but on a much smaller scale. It’s a popular cultural center known best for the gorgeous red poppies than bloom annually in Spring. The city is home to a large number of historical homes, which adds to the charm. There are quite a few parks, biking, and hiking trails, and fishing is a popular activity in the area. The median home cost is $215,000 and the city population is a mere 44,762.

San Antonio

San Antonio is the second largest city in Texas and it’s full of history to go along with the size. The city is the spot of the Alamo and many other historical sites that draw tourists from around the nation. Because of its Mexican history, it’s quite culturally diverse. River Walk, a five mile walking path beside the river, is one of the city’s most beloved spots and hosts a great deal of events year round. Because of the history, there is quite a large tourist season. The median home cost is $105,600 and the city population is 1,321,692.

Lone Star State

Texas has a host of benefits for retirees and the warm weather is just the beginning! Austin is home to the fastest growing pre-retiree population and is currently rated one of the top retirement cities in most lists published. There is something for everyone when it comes to Texas, though, so consider living your days out in the big, beautiful state that so many call home.

Singing Show Tunes Boosts Brain Power in Dementia Patients

The Society for Neuroscience 2013 conference this week in San Diego brought forth a multitude of new discoveries in the field. One in particular stood out to us, because it demonstrated an extremely simple way to help boost brain power of elderly patients with dementia.

Music Programming

Researchers at George Mason University evaluated the effect that listening to and singing songs has on dementia patients. They referred to the process as “music programming” and the results of their study seem promising.

Scientists conducted their study at a long term care facility on the East Coast and divided dementia patients into two separate groups. Over the course of four months, the two groups both listened to music, show tunes in specific. Study leaders chose songs that were likely familiar to the patients, like tunes from the Sound of Music and The Wizard of Oz.

“A lot of people have grown up singing songs and for a long time the memories are still there,” Jane Flinn, a neuroscientist at the university told The Guardian. “When they start singing it can revive those memories.”

Study Details 

Both groups listened to the songs, but only one group sang along in the music sessions, which lasted 50 minutes each and were held 3 times a week. At the end of the study, the cognitive differences between the two groups were apparent. The patients who had only listened to the songs showed absolutely no sign of cognitive improvement when given cognitive and drawing tests. Those who sang along, however, showed marked improvements when tested.

The study suggests that singing can help enhance cognitive functions, even in patients with moderate to severe dementia. Researchers involved are encouraging long term care facilities to consider the results of the study when arranging activities for dementia patients. Group singing classes are not only inexpensive but can be extremely beneficial.

Flinn went on to explain her takeaway from the study: “Even when people are in the fairly advanced stages of dementia, when it is so advanced they are in a secure ward, singing sessions were still helpful. The message is: don’t give up on these people.”

You can read the official study abstract here.

A Growing Problem

The incidence of Alzheimer’s and dementia is expected to triple by the year 2050 and learning the different ways to help prevent dementia and ease the symptoms can help health care providers and individuals better decrease their risk. Read more about the prevalence of Alzheimer’s and dementia in Texas and the importance of reporting symptoms as early as possible.