Alzheimer’s Disease a World-Wide Issue

by Lois Etienne on October 15, 2010

in Alzheimer's and Dementia

Washington-SeniorRecent news about the global impact of Alzheimer’s disease is very unsettling. A landmark report on the Global Economic Impact of Dementia finds that Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are exacting a massive toll on the global economy, with the problem set to accelerate in coming years. The World Alzheimer Report 2010 provides the most current and comprehensive global picture of the economic and social costs of the illness.

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks, according to the National Institute on Aging. In most people with Alzheimer’s disease, symptoms first appear after age 60.

The report reveals:

  • The worldwide costs of dementia will exceed 1 percent of global GDP in 2010, at $604 billion.
  • The number of people with dementia will double by 2030, and more than triple by 2050.
  • The costs of caring for people with dementia are likely to rise even faster than the prevalence – especially in the developing world, as more formal social care systems emerge, and rising incomes lead to higher opportunity costs.

“This is a wake-up call that Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are the single most significant health and social crisis of the 21st century,” said Dr Daisy Acosta, Chairman of ADI. “World governments are woefully unprepared for the social and economic disruptions this disease will cause.”

Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. But a nutritious diet, physical activity, social engagement, and mentally stimulating pursuits can all help people stay healthy, according to the National Institute on Aging. New research suggests the possibility that these factors also might help to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.

For more information about In Home Care Services for Alzheimer’s patients, or to get answers to your questions, please contact your local Home Instead Senior Care office.  We can be reached — anytime day or night – by calling: Spokane: 509.835.5898, North King/Snohomish Counties: 425.670.2292 or South King/Pierce Counties: 253.943.1603. You can also email us at loisetienne@homeinsteadnw.com

To read details of the Alzheimer’s report, log on to www.alz.co.uk/worldreport.  For more about Alzheimer’s disease from the National Institute on Aging, log on tohttp://www.nia.nih.gov/Alzheimers/Publications/adfact.htm.

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