It happens several times with us when we forget to carry mobile phones, keys to our vehicles and various other day-to-day activities. We might laugh later on, but the condition of forgetfulness (dementia) is serious for old people ages 65 or more. Dementia is a condition that can be caused by a number of disorders and can affect memory, thinking, behavior and ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Recently a report World Alzheimer Report 2010 released by Alzheimer’s Disease International says that worldwide cost of dementia will surpass $601 billion by the end of this year, over 1% of global GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and is expected to triple to $1.08 trillion per year by the year 2050.
The report was authored by Professor Anders Wimo of the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; and Professor Martin Prince, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, UK. The major highlights of report are-
- The total estimated worldwide costs of dementia are US$601 billion in 2010
- About 70% of the costs occur in Western Europe and North America
- 35.6 million people living with dementia worldwide in 2010, increasing to 65.7 million by 2030 and 115.4 million by 2050
- The costs of caring for individuals with dementia will probably increase faster than the increase in prevalence. This will be especially so in developing nations.
The report says- if dementia care were a country, it would be the world’s 18th largest economy, ranking between Turkey and Indonesia. If it were a...
company, it would be the world’s largest by annual revenue exceeding Wal-Mart (US$414 billion) and Exxon Mobil (US$311 billion).
The report further emphasized that there is an urgent need to develop cost-effective packages of medical and social care including evidence-based prevention strategies that meet the needs of people with dementia and their caregivers across the course of the illness.
By investing in research and cost-effective approaches for dementia care can have societal costs benefits in future. Governments and health and social care systems need to be adequately prepared for the future, and must seek ways to improve the lives of people with dementia and their caregivers.
The report is an eye opener informing how rapidly the disease and associated cost has been increasing all over the world. Government should invest more into research to develop preventive care options that can prevent people getting into the serious disease.