September is World Alzheimer’s Month, an international campaign to raise dementia awareness and challenge stigma. Each year, Alzheimer associations from around the world unite to organize advocacy and informational events, as well as Memory Walks and fundraising days.
The impact of this campaign is growing, but so is the need for action. Here are a few sobering statistics about the worldwide fight against Alzheimer’s:
- Every 3 seconds, someone in the world develops dementia.
- There are over 50 million people living with dementia in 2018. Experts predict this number will increase to 152 million people by 2050 unless effective risk-reduction strategies are implemented worldwide.
- People living in low and middle-income countries are most affected by dementia. Some of those regions will see a fivefold increase in dementia cases by 2050. The number of people living with dementia will likely double in high income countries.
- Dementia is now a trillion-dollar disease, and already exceeds the market value the world’s largest companies including Apple and Microsoft.
Why is Raising Awareness So Important?
Despite the rise of dementia worldwide, misinformation and stigmatization are still prevalent. As a result, many dementia patients never receive an official diagnosis or receive services that could help them live better, longer lives. Here’s why that matters:
- In low and middle-income countries, as few as one in ten individuals receive a dementia diagnosis. In higher income countries, that number is less than one in two. More people living with dementia need access to a doctor who can provide a diagnosis and help to plan necessary support.
- These diagnostic deficits ultimately lead to higher health care costs. Governments could save money by improving preventative care and increasing the effectiveness of social, community, and other care services.
- Individuals diagnosed with dementia earlier have a unique opportunity to take part in dementia research, which may identify new treatments, help to find a cure or improve care.
Get Involved in the Fight
When a problem is this big, it’s sometimes difficult for the average person to know how t0 help. Fortunately, Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) and its American sister organization the Alzheimer’s Association make it easy to get involved. Every year, state organizations across the country hold Walk to End Alzheimer’s events which serves as their chief fundraising and awareness platform. Many state chapters are holding their walks in the coming weeks. You can click here to find a walk near you.
Learn More About Dementia
Over the years we’ve written often about the challenges dementia and Alzheimer’s disease bring for researchers, patients, and caregivers. If you’d like to read more of our coverage, you can visit the Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia category pages on our Arizona Home Care Blog.
If you or someone you care about lives in the Phoenix area and would like to learn more about how home care can help meet the unique needs of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, we’d be happy to talk. We’re available by phone at 602-595-HOME (4663) or you can fill out the form on our contact page and we’ll get right back to you.
The battle against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease will be one of the signature issues of the next two decades. Our best chance for victory comes in a united effort to raise money and awareness. Join the battle this September.