Having an adult child live at home is not the norm for many parents, but for adults with serious health conditions, especially seniors 65 and older, the extra help and financial support are often necessary. Multigenerational living is a trend we are seeing in the U.S. and one that will clearly continue as nearly 31.4 million baby boomers will turn 65 by 2020.
It is an unprecedented time in American healthcare. Whether they are using Medicare or private health insurance, older Americans are relying more and more on their children and grandchildren to help manage their care.
Millennials, young adults between the ages of 19-35, are more likely to live at home with their parents than to live independently for a variety of reasons, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center analysis. And a 2015 TD Ameritrade Financial Support Study found that nearly 20 percent of millennials provide financial assistance to their parents whether or not they live with them. Certainly some are helping support parents who are ill.
Along with millennials, the Ameritrade study found that baby boomers and Generation Xers (those born between 1965 and1980) also provide financial support to their parents — and adult children. The study shows that 22 percent of all Americans are “financial supporters” and assist their parents with general living and medical expenses.
Seniors and older adults living with one or more chronic diseases need help managing their illnesses. According to NCOA, “approximately 92% of older adults have at least one chronic disease, and 77% have at least two.”
Biopharmaceutical Chronic Condition Innovations in Development
It’s imperative that the biopharmaceutical industry works to develop treatments to help manage common chronic conditions that older Americans are more prone to developing over their lifetime such as atrial fibrillation, osteoarthritis of the knee and varying forms of Alzheimer’s disease, among others.
Nearly 70 percent of individuals with atrial fibrillation are between 65 and 85 years old. In 2005, osteoarthritis — the most common form of arthritis — affected nearly 12.4 million adults 65 and older, according to the CDC.
Three Colorado-based biopharmaceutical companies are working to develop treatments to help seniors and older adults manage these common chronic conditions. While these developments will not cure most chronic diseases, they can help restore a patient’s quality of life.
ARCA Biopharma — Gencaro™
Condition: Atrial fibrillation (AF)
ARCA Biopharma develops therapies that genetically target cardiovascular diseases. ARCA’s product Genarco™ is a “unique beta-blocker and mild vasodilator” designed to help prevent atrial fibrillation — the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia.
Ampio Pharmaceuticals — Ampion™
Greenwood Village, CO
Condition: Osteoarthritis of the knee
Ampio Pharmaceuticals develops therapies designed to treat common inflammatory conditions for people who have limited treatment options. The company is on its final U.S. trial for its product Ampion™, a joint injection to treat osteoarthritis of the knee, the most common form of arthritis. According to Ampio, “this non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory biologic agent has the potential to treat a broad range of acute and chronic inflammatory conditions as well as immune-mediated diseases.”
Accera — AC-1204
Condition: Mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease
Accera develop therapies for central nervous system disorders. In 2013, Accera began its Phase 3 program for AC-1204, a therapy for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The therapy induces a mild state of ketosis to give the brain an alternative source of energy. It has the potential to improve the cognition and daily functioning for dementia patients.
Now more than ever adult children are helping to support their parents because they do not want them struggling to take care of themselves. This is especially true if one or both of their parents lives with a chronic health condition that requires daily management and care. Even with these new treatments in the development, it’s vital for biopharmaceutical companies to continue to work and find new therapies for chronic conditions because these innovations will help restore the quality of life for everyone involved.
To show your support for new treatments for chronic conditions affecting your loved ones, sign our Discovering Cures petition today and tell your elected officials in Washington to support biotechnology innovations: https://t.co/Hq8AC4StlZ.