The Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) has released its world Alzheimer's Report for 2019. Below are some of the highlights from the report. (Population statistics are taken from a survey of almost 70,000 respondents from 155 countries).
ADI estimates there are currently 50 million people living with Alzheimer's globally. This figure is predicted to increase to 152 million by 2050. Someone develops dementia every 3 seconds. In the US, the estimated annual cost of dementia is $1 trillion, which is predicted to double by 2030.
The majority of the global population (95%) think they could develop dementia at some point in their lifetime. Yet, some people think nothing can be done to prevent dementia. In fact, two-thirds of the population believe that dementia is caused by normal ageing. On the contrary, dementia is a nuerogenerative disease that is one of the leading causes of death.
Recent studies have revealed how influential lifestyle factors are when considering the risk of developing dementia. However, just over half the population believe lifestyle factors play a role at all.
Unfortunately, stigma and discrimination still exist for those living with dementia. Over 85% of those living with dementia said their opinions were not taken seriously. Some countries in Africa and South-East Asia reported that their dementia symptoms were joked about by others. Unfair treatment can be experienced in many ways - at home, in the community, and even in healthcare settings.
Most of the survey respondents (91%) feel that people should not hide the fact they have dementia. However, around 20% of those same respondents would hide their own Alzheimer's when meeting new people. Concealment and secrecy are some of the ways stigma surrounding Alzheimer's can manifest itself.
There is a huge number of people who act as caregivers for those who suffer from dementia. Although just over half of caregivers expressed positive sentiments about their caring role and found it fulfilling, many of them said their health, work, and social life suffered due to their caring responsibilities. ADI hopes to increase support available to caregivers.
Based on the survey findings, ADI aims to improve public awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding Alzheimer's. It is promoting a more timely diagnosis of Alzheimer's and additional support post-diagnosis. ADI hopes to amplify the voice of those living with Alzheimer's by continuing to advocate for them.
You can read the full report here.