Health

Report: Dementia Cases to Triple by 2050

August 24th, 2015
Author: Alzheimer's Disease International, and other reporting
Report: Dementia Cases to Triple by 2050

A report just released (August, 2015) suggests worldwide dementia cases will triple by 2050. Currently 47 million people suffer from dementia. In just 35 years that number is expected to increase to 132 million.

Dementia is an umbrella term for degenerative diseases of the brain characterized by a gradual decline in the ability to think and remember. Accounting for well over half of cases, Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia.

Today there are 900 million people 60 or older. Over the next 35 years, that age group will grow by 65 percent in rich countries, 185 percent in lower-middle income nations, and 239 percent in poor countries.

As the world gets older, the number of people with dementia is set to increase exponentially, notes the World Alzheimer Report 2015, produced by Alzheimer's Disease International.

These numbers present challenges to government, families and medical professionals on how best to deal with more people who will require supervision.

Another report published in “Population and Development Review" suggests caregiving due to all types of Long Term Health Care is already at crisis mode requiring 1.2 billion hours of unpaid caregiving provided by families.

Emilio Zagheni, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Washington and co-author of the report says that America is entering the ‘Golden Age of Caregiving’. The issue is not going away as the World Alzheimer Report just deals with one aspect of Long Term Health Care, supervision due to memory loss.

Today there are 900 million people 60 or older. Over the next 35 years, that age group will grow by 65 percent in rich countries, 185 percent in lower-middle income nations, and 239 percent in poor countries.

In 2015 alone, there will be about 10 million new cases, one every few seconds and nearly 30 percent more than in 2010. The risk increases dramatically as we age although early onset dementias are becoming more common.

Care for memory loss is now the leading cause for private Long Term Care insurance claims, according to a consumer organization that monitors the product. In fact, more than one in four claims according to this 2012 report are related to this mind-robbing condition, noted Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI).

"Considering the millions of Americans who will be living into their 80s, 90s and beyond without a financial plan in place to deal with the costs of Long Term Care it would be prudent for a massive educational effort," said Slome.

Planning experts suggest that Long Term Care Insurance should be part of an over-all retirement plan. The U.S. is the biggest market for private Long Term Care Insurance but sales are gaining in Canada, Germany, United Kingdom and France.