• DEMENTIA – A PUBLIC HEALTH PRIORITY

    Friday June 29, 2012

    Dementia Incidences to Triple Says World Health Organization

     The World Health Organization has released data on the current state of dementia care worldwide and the prevalence of the disease, both currently and in the future. Among other findings, researchers predict the number of people with dementia worldwide to triple by 2050.

    The World Health Organization compiled the results of a number of studies in a new report about the prevalence, effects, and implications of dementia. According to the report, in 2010 35.6 million people worldwide had dementia, a number expected to nearly double every 20 years. In 2010 the worldwide costs of dementia were estimated to be 604 billion US dollars, a number also expected to grow over the coming years. Despite the high social and financial costs, only eight countries have national programs to address dementia.

    The report emphasizes that a variety of services, including caregiver support programs, residential care communities, and palliative care options, are needed to serve those with dementia. High-income countries are generally able to provide more options for citizens, but the report makes it clear that even high-income countries have room for improvement. For example, seven out of eight survey respondents from high-income countries report that their country provides support for residential care, but many of these countries do not provide sufficient care. Poland, for instance, only reported one community specifically designed for individuals with dementia.

    Read the full report: Dementia: A Public Health Priority

     

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