ADI’s report ‘Dementia in the Asia Pacific Region Report 2014’shows India will have over 12 million dementia patients by 2050 against the 4 million now
New Delhi, November 8, 2014: The new report by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) has revealed that by 2050, the number of people in the Asia Pacific Region suffering from dementia will rise to 71 million from 23 million in 2015, with India coming second only to China with over 12 million persons with dementia, witnessing an unprecedented three-fold rise.
The inaugural function of the 17th Asia Pacific Regional Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International was held yesterday at the India Habitat Centre.
Honourable Justice K.G.Balakrishnan, Chairman, National Human Rights Commission in the presence of Ms Frederika Meijer, UNFPA Representative for India and Country Director of UNFPA Bhutan, and Dr. K Jacob Roy, ADI Chairman, released ‘Dementia in the Asia Pacific Region Report 2014’. The report recommends that the respective governments recognise the imperative need for increased awareness, education and research in dementia.
17th Asia Pacific Regional Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International is being held from 7th to 9th November 2014 and being hosted by the Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI) in collaboration with All India Institute of Medical Sciences under the Chairmanship of Dr. A.B. Dey, Head of Department of Geriatric Medicine.
“The figures show that dementia will present an overwhelming financial and human burden to health and care systems. The countries within the Asia Pacific region must act now to put in place policies and plans to ensure that adequate care and services are provided to people living with dementia, both now and in the future. The major challenges in the Asia Pacific region are limited awareness, assumption that it is natural process of ageing, limited policy on dementia, inadequate training for professional carers. Governments need to play a very pro-active role in tackling the situation related to dementia,” saidDr.K. Jacob Roy, Chairman of Alzheimer’s Disease International.
Dementia is the progressive loss of the powers of the brain. The most common kinds are Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. These diseases damage and kill brain cells, hampering its normal functioning. This causes problems with memory, communication and thinking. Sometimes performing activities such as handling money and dressing become a task for people affected with dementia.
The report also highlights the tremendous costs associated with dementia in the Asia Pacific region, a figure which currently stands at US$185 million. It is estimated that 70% of this amount occurs in the advanced economies, which only account for 18% of the regional prevalence of the disease.
These figures are likely to increase as the numbers of persons with dementia grow, burdening the health systems of countries in the region, especially those in low and middle income nations. The Asia Pacific region accounts for nearly 60% of the world’s total population, and where a quarter of the population will be aged 60 or over by 2050.
“There is a need to engage community groups and NGOs to spread awareness about dementia, its risk factors, importance of early diagnosis and steps to better manage the disease. Alzheimer’s Disease International is aggressively working at many levels in various countries via its country associations to advocate with respective governments. The governments should develop comprehensive plans and policies in consultation with all the stakeholders to reduce the risk factors and thereby the prevalence of the disease,” said Ms. Meera Pattabiraman, Chairperson, Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India.
The report recommends to governments and other stakeholders in the Asia Pacific region, to take action in the following areas:
1. Provide education and awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia highlighting that dementia is not a normal part of ageing but a disease of the brain.
2. Improve the quality of life of people living with dementia by providing education to family members, paid carers and other health care professionals to ensure that the best quality of care is delivered to people living with dementia.
3. Promote the development of health and community care systems to deal with an increasing number of people with the disease. To the best extent possible, ensure that health and community care systems are adequately equipped to provide care and treatment, provide education or professional development to family, paid carers and health care workers and adequately and continuously invest in health and community care systems.
4. Raise awareness of risk reduction strategies which may delay the onset of the disease for some individuals, and reduce future numbers of people with dementia.
5. Develop national dementia action plans detailing key areas for action, including research, awareness and education, improving quality of care, risk reduction, assessment and diagnosis.
6. Promote and support further research into the health and care systems in lower and middle income countries in the development of health policy.
About Alzheimer’s Disease International
ADI is the international federation of 84 Alzheimer associations around the world, in official relations with the World Health Organization. ADI's vision is an improved quality of life for people with dementia and their families throughout the world. ADI believes that the key to winning the fight against dementia lies in a unique combination of global solutions and local knowledge. As such, it works locally, by empowering Alzheimer associations to promote and offer care and support for people with dementia and their carers, while working globally to focus attention on dementia and campaign for policy change from governments.
For more information, visit www.alz.co.uk.