PATASKALA, Ohio (WCMH) — The Alzheimer’s Association is out with troubling new numbers: deaths from dementia increased 16 percent during the pandemic and in 2021, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation $355 billion.

The girls’ basketball coach at Licking Heights High School, Sonya Glover, knows all about the cost of Alzheimer’s care. For five years, Glover and her husband were caregivers for her mother as she lived with Alzheimer’s.

Glover said they had to pay for home health aides out of their own pocket, and were shocked when they learned the cost to live at a memory care center in Ohio starts at about $5,400 a month.

Glover and her team now raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association, and she is an advocate for other families.

“I am going to keep fighting,” Glover said. “Even though I lost my mom last year to Alzheimer’s, the financial burden, I know for us, stopped because her life stopped and I hate to think that other people, it won’t stop until their life is gone and that is sad because families are being stretched and pulled to the core. I mean emotionally and financially and spiritually, too, and all those things mean a lot.”