Dementia, Alzheimer’s Diagnoses to Triple by 2050

The costs of care associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are expected to rise on pace with the number of people globally who will suffer from them—a number that is now projected to triple by 2050.

Today, the number of people living with Alzheimer’s is estimated at more than 35 million globally, with Alzheimer’s Disease International—the worldwide federation of Alzheimer associations—projecting in a report this week that number will double by 2030 and will more than triple to 115 million by the year 2050.

Care solutions have emerged to meet a rise in demand from communities and units specialized in memory care, as well as services provided within the homes of those who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s.

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Alzheimer’s Disease International reports among its annual findings that the quality of life is comparable among both types of care—community based and home based.

“It is often claimed that people with dementia would prefer to live at home for as long as possible cared for by their family, that this option is associated with better quality of life, and that care at home is cheaper than care in a care home,” the report states. “None of these rationales is fully supported by evidence.”

Rather, evidence suggests the quality of life for those in care homes may actually be higher than for those who receive care in their own homes, the report continues, though both solutions should be considered along with their respective costs.

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And those costs are expected to be enormous, at an estimated worldwide societal cost of $604 billion as of 2010, anticipated by Alzheimer’s Disease International to rise to $1.12 trillion by 2030. The costs for caring for the population are expected to total $1.2 trillion by 2050, the report finds.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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