Older people needing care set to treble globally by 2050
- 20 Sep
There are currently 101 million people requiring care and a report from Alzheimer's Disease International is warning that figures could rise to 277 million.
Alzheimer's is one of the most common causes of dementia and symptoms can include loss of memory, changes in mood, as well as problems with communicating and reasoning. There are more than 35 million people living with dementia worldwide and more than half living in low and middle income countries reports the BBC.
The report by Alzheimer's Disease say that many in need of care have dementia whilst warning that there could be a "global Alzheimer's epidemic". China and India are said to be most likely to be hit the hardstand they must start planning services now.
It was also revealed that as the world's population ages the traditional system of informal care will need much greater support. Over one in ten people aged over 60 needs long-term care says he report.
Currently the cost of care for those with dementia is more than £376bn per year, which includes the health and social care as well as the loss of earnings.
The author of the report, Professor Martin Prince from King's College London's Insitute of Psychiatry, says that, "The social and economic changes happening in those countries are inevitably going to mean that family carers will be less available. Things like the decline in fertility rates mean people are going to have fewer children. Women are also better educated so are more likely to join the paid workforce and are going to be less likely to be available to provide care."
He also says that the increase in migration between countries, and from rural to urban areas amongst younger people meant there were would be a lot of older people "left behind".
A spokesperson for the Alzheimer's Society in the UK said: "Dementia is the biggest health crisis facing the world today.
"This report is a wake-up call to governments across the world about the immediate need to put in place more care and support.
"The UK government's G8 summit on dementia this year will be a key opportunity to rally support from world leaders to tackle dementia together. We need to see political leadership to avoid a spiralling global crisis," the spokesperson added.
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/982475
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