Tomorrow (Saturday 21 September) is World Alzheimer’s Day. Although dementia should not be considered a natural or inevitable part of older age, health organisations and the Government are increasingly concerned about dementia becoming an ‘epidemic’ associated with an ageing population. A BBC news article released today quotes the Alzheimer’s Society as saying that dementia is “the biggest health crisis facing the world today” – there being some 35 million people affected worldwide (Source: World Health Organisation).
A report released by the Alzheimer’s Society earlier this year gives some additional figures:
- 800,000 people living with some form of dementia in the UK;
- Two thirds of people with dementia are women;
- 1 in 3 people over 65 are likely to develop dementia.
Such is this concern to the Government that they updated their policy on dementia care earlier this year, which associates around £805 million with improving care for people with dementia and supporting their carers. This funding will be used for breaks for carers, renovating housing, adapting wards and care homes, developing hospital risk assessments, and increasing diagnosis rates.