It is certainly not new information that the number of people with dementia is rapidly growing – not only in the countries that are represented in this project proposal, but in all Europe and all over the world.
People live longer and this is the main reason for the increase in the number of people affected by dementia.
Worldwide, around 50 million people have dementia, with nearly 60% living in low- and middle-income countries. Every year, there are nearly 10 million new cases. The estimated proportion of the general population aged 60 and over with dementia at a given time is between 5 to 8 per 100 people. The total number of people with dementia is projected to reach 82 million in 2030 and 152 in 2050. Much of this increase is attributable to the rising numbers of people with dementia living in low- and middle-income countries.
More than 7 million Europeans are directly affected by dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form. By 2050, there will be approximately 18.66 million Europeans with a dementia disease. (Source: WHO). Figures from the Danish Dementia Research Centre tell us that the number of people diagnosed with dementia in Denmark will increase from 87.319 in 2017 to 149.882 in 2040.
As we can see, in the future, the number of people suffering from dementia will grow and consequently, the socio-economic burden will continue to increase. Due to their prevalence, cost and profound impact on society, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia are public health priorities in EU Member States.
As most European countries are recognizing the challenge they are facing, they have launched national dementia plans with many initiatives to be carried out. In the more wealthy countries, new technology is developed and implemented in the field.
However, there seems to be a missing link between on one side: all the research done, all the existing knowledge, the awareness, the enormous amount of money spent – and on the other side: the priority this topic is given in the education of the basic care staff in the care educations in Europe.