Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Dementia is a public health priority, as there is a new case diagnosed every 3 seconds. Dementia is not a normal part of aging. Currently, there is no prevention or cure for Alzheimer's disease; but that doesn't mean a cure cannot be found. Rising numbers in life expectancy are contributing to rapid increases in numbers and by 2050 an estimated 131.5 million worldwide will be living with dementia.
If dementia care were a country, it would be the world’s 18th largest economy. The high cost of the disease will challenge health systems to deal with the predicted future increase of cases. The costs are estimated at US$ 818 billion per year at present and are set to increase even more quickly than the prevalence.
Awareness and education play a vital role in decreasing the stigma of Alzheimer’s disease and improving the lives of those affected by the disease and their caregivers. By increasing education and awareness on Alzheimer’s disease toward young people worldwide we are empowering them to take action and be agents of change for the disease.
The number of people living with dementia worldwide is currently estimated at 46.8 million, this number is projected to increase to 74.7 million by 2030 and more than triple to 131.5 million by 2050.
Much of the increase will be in developing countries. Already 62% of people with dementia live in developing countries, but by 2050 this will rise to 71%. There are 9.9 million new cases of dementia each year, implying that there is a new case of dementia somewhere in the world every three seconds.
“Dementia is fast becoming the biggest health and social care challenge of this generation. We must tackle dementia now, for those currently living with the condition across the world and for those millions who will develop dementia in the future.” - Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the UK's Alzheimer's Society
Caregiver’s take on a huge role when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. As the disease advances, needs increase, and responsibilities become more challenging. Caregivers are often victim to stress and caregiver burnout, which require support from the health, social, financial, and legal systems. Over 94% of caregivers are relatives and the ability of your loved one to show appreciation for all your hard work quickly diminishes. Caregivers are unsung heroes.
The complexity of the Alzheimer’s and the wide variety of living arrangements can be difficult for and families dealing with the disease. The challenge is even greater in the less developed world, where an estimated two-thirds or more of Alzheimer's sufferers live but where few coping resources are available for them and their families.
Alzheimer’s is overwhelming not only for the people who have it, but also for their friends and families. There is a lack of awareness and understanding of Alzheimer’s in most countries, resulting in stigmatization, barriers to diagnosis and care, and impacting caregivers, families and societies physically, psychologically and economically. Global awareness is a must.
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