Married folks less prone to Alzheimers- A healthier and wealthier retirement

It has been long known that folks that are married have longer life span. Now, new research by the Karolinska Institute on Sweden has found that marriage or having a partner halves the risk of developing dementia. Scientists believe social interaction between couples may ward off illness. Good reason to work on your relationships.

The dollars involved in the care for Alzheimer's and other dementia victims is no small amount. In 2005, Medicare spent $91 billion on beneficiaries with Alzheimer's and other dementias ,and that number is projected to more than double to $189 billion by 2015. Medicaid spending per person equals around $13,207 per year on average per patient with dementia.

This does not include the cost, both emotional and financial, for patient's families. Nursing home care can run around $4000 per month and can last for years. A lifetime of savings can be wiped out when one of the partners needs extended care.

So does this mean you should run out and get married? Not necessarily, but it points to the need for companionship and friends, especially as we get older. Network with people who share your interests, Join groups and clubs where you interact with others. And have a best friend that you can talk to and share activities. Good for your brain and your pocketbook.

Barbara Bartlein is the People Pro. A relationship expert, she is the author of Why Did I Marry You Anyway? Overcoming the Myths that Hinder a Happy Marriage. For more tips and tools to build your relationships, please visit: Marriage Tips. For a FREE e-mail newsletter, visit the author's website at The People Pro.

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