Aging | Caregiving | Global Ageing News | March 30, 2020

The Future of Dementia

BY GlobalAgeing

Election to The World Dementia Council | World Young Leaders in ...

The World Dementia Council recently highlighted Alzheimer Europe’s startling study: Dementia in Europe will almost double in the next 30 years.

Logically, the trend makes sense. Europe has seen an overall increase in lifespan, with the average person living three more years than before.  Dementia will naturally impact more people, as long as societies are living longer lives and increasing in population size. The study followed European Collaboration on Dementia (EuroCoDe) methodology, focusing on prevalence rates, diagnosis, treatment, non-pharmacological interventions, risk factors, socio-economic cost, and inventory of social support systems. This study reviewed 37 different European countries and overall found that:

      • The prevalence rate is decreasing, although the number of people with dementia will increase.
      • Research shows people aged 85 and over will experience the most significant increase in dementia. That could change with more research. Currently, there is less research across the field for groups under 65 years old. More research is needed for the younger group to better identify prevalence of dementia across ages.
      • Dementia continues to disproportionately affect women.

The research and predictions are made to keep up with an already growing trend that is not unique to Europe. How does Europe compare to the rest of the world with responses and predictions?

    • Japan’s G20 presidency called the international community to prioritize dementia as a global priority.
    • In South Africa, some groups perceive informal dementia care as negative, and are moving to institute culturally congruent formal care.
    • Early research in Australia identifies irregular patterns in dementia diagnosis across the Greek diaspora.

Alzheimer Europe’s projections and other emerging research reminds us that investment in scaling effective support systems must happen today.

Global Ageing Network is interested in the future of dementia amidst our world population. We’re hosting a study tour to collaborate on innovative solutions for these projections and more. Global Ageing Network and Dialog Health are hosting a study tour on Dementia Care Innovation in Sweden. If you’re interested in joining us for a week in Stockholm, please check our website in a few months for more information.