World Alzheimer’s Month this September
Every three seconds, someone in the world develops dementia. Today, more than 46 million people are living with the disease. This number is set to almost double every 20 years, making dementia one of the most significant health crises of the 21st century.
Contributed by IAPO member Alzheimer’s Disease International.
Dementia is a collective name for degenerative brain syndromes which affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion. Although each person will experience dementia in their own way, after a period of time people living with dementia are unable to care for themselves and need help with all aspects of daily life.
People living for longer
Many people around the world are now living for longer. Over the past century, successes in improving standards of health and social care means the world population now has more older people than ever before.
As a result, much of the increase in dementia’s global prevalence will take place in low and middle income countries (LMICs). Today, over half of all people with dementia live in LMICs. By 2050, this will rise to 68%, so it is vital we are able to help these countries provide services and support.
In 2015, the global cost of dementia care is estimated at $818 billion. If global dementia care were a company, it would be the world’s largest by annual revenue exceeding Apple (US$ 742 billion) and Google (US$ 368 billion). In just three years’ time, dementia is set to become a trillion dollar disease.
Across the globe, there is a growing awareness about dementia, but stigma and misinformation remain significant barriers to making the world a better place for people living with the disease.
Two out of three people globally believe there is little or no understanding of dementia in their countries, so it’s essential we work together to educate ourselves and our communities to dispel lingering myths about dementia.
September is World Alzheimer’s Month™, an international campaign to raise awareness and challenge dementia stigma. It’s a time for action, a global movement united by its call for change, but it is also a time to reflect on the impact of dementia, a disease that will affect more and more people as the years pass.
Dementia is a global issue that demands a global solution. By educating ourselves about dementia and campaigning for better health and social care provision, we can help people living with dementia both now and in the future. By joining us this September and helping to spread the word you can help us make this a reality.
Find out how you can get involved and find events in your country by visiting www.worldalzmonth.org and following Alzheimer’s Disease International on Twitter and Facebook.
*Image taken from the World Alzheimer Report 2015