More and more people with dementia in the future

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According to the World Alzheimer's Report, the number of people with dementia will triple by 2050

Worldwide, the number of people suffering from dementia has increased significantly in the past. According to the 2013 World Alzheimer Report, it is expected that there will be around 115 million demented people worldwide by 2050. According to the authors of the report, however, no country has been prepared for the high demands in the care and care of dementia patients.

Dementia is becoming one of the greatest challenges of this century “Worldwide, 13 percent of people aged 60 years or older need long-term care. Between 2010 and 2050, the total number of older people in need of care will almost triple from 101 to 277 million, ”says the World Alzheimer Report. Long-term care mostly affects people with dementia such as Alzheimer's. Their number is expected to increase to 115 million by the middle of the century. That would be more people than live in Mexico today, which is one of the 15 most populous countries in the world. An unimaginable high number of people in need of care, for whom there is not nearly enough supply, and a challenge for health systems that all countries worldwide have to face.

According to the report, around 35 million people worldwide are currently suffering from Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. Around 1.4 million are affected in Germany. According to the German Alzheimer's Association, there will be three million dementia by 2050, one in three of whom is over 90 years old. It can be expected that around half of all people in need of care will develop some form of dementia with increasing age. About 80 percent of the residents of old people's homes and nursing homes are affected by this, the authors of the report write. In Germany, around 60 percent of people in old people's homes suffer from dementia.

“Dementia clearly has huge socio-economic impacts worldwide. It is difficult to predict such a large sum, ”says the World Alzheimer Report. Currently, $ 604 trillion in costs would be associated with dementia. “If dementia were a country, it would be in 18th place in the world’s strongest economies, ranking between Turkey and Indonesia. If dementia were a company, it would be one of the largest in terms of annual earnings worldwide, surpassing Wal-Mart ($ 414 trillion) and Exxon Mobile ($ 311 trillion), ”wrote Professor Martin Prince of King's University in London College and his team in the World Alzheimer's Report.

Dementia and relatives need more support Relatives of dementia patients are often overwhelmed with care. In the World Alzheimer Report, the authors therefore call for more support for relatives and better pay for professional nurses. "We are already receiving two thirds of calls from families in a crisis," Roger Baumgart, managing director of a care provider in the UK, told the dpa news agency.

In Germany, too, the range of outpatient care services, nursing home places or alternative care offers such as shared apartments needs to be increased significantly, also speaks to Hans-Jürgen Freter, spokesman for the Alzheimer Society, in an interview with the news agency. “Two thirds of dementia patients are still being looked after at home. It won't go on like this, "reports the expert." In the future there will be fewer children who can take care of themselves. And there will be more older singles. " The municipalities in particular are required to deal appropriately with dementia patients.

No adequate care for people with dementia Professor Hans Gutzmann, President of the German geriatric psychiatrists, sees great shortcomings in the care of people with dementia. So far, politicians have viewed Alzheimer's and other dementia diseases primarily as a nursing problem. This results in a separation of health and long-term care insurance funds, which means that dementia patients are not adequately cared for in Germany, based on international standards. From a business perspective, it would not make sense for a health insurance company to pay for a therapy, but the long-term care insurance company would have its financial benefits in that the costs of nursing measures would only be incurred later due to the treatment. Therefore, what would make sense for the patient remains undone.

The German Alzheimer Society demands that drugs, non-drug therapies and nursing measures should be used in an overall therapeutic concept. This can slow down the disease so that those affected can lead a self-determined life in dignity for longer. In addition, the costs for accommodation in the nursing home, which could take place later thanks to such an overall therapeutic concept, would be reduced. (ag)

Image: Gerd Altmann,

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