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Report: Global cost of Alzheimer’s increasing

The World Alzheimer Report, released by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), has estimated that there are now 46.8 million people living with dementia, bringing the worldwide cost of dementia to $818 billion.

In Europe, which has the second largest population of people living with dementia, costs have increased from $240 million in 2010 to $300 billion in 2015. The rising costs are attributed to rising life expectancy, with the number of people aged 60 and above now totalling 900 million worldwide.

The writers of the report call for more investment in dementia care and research, suggesting that 1% of the global cost of dementia should be allocated to research and improving care. At present, only 0.28% of the UK’s dementia costs are spent on research. Marc Wortmann, ADI, said: “The rising global cost of dementia will pose serious challenges to health and social care systems all around the world. These findings demonstrate the urgent need for governments to implement policies and legislation to provide a better quality of life for people living with dementia, both now and in the future.”

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of charity Alzheimer's Society, echoed that spending needed to increase to match the growing cost of Alzheimer’s to the UK: “This new research exposes the staggering financial and human impact of dementia. It leaves us with no doubt that dementia is the biggest public health and social care challenge facing people today and in the future. Our system urgently needs to be geared up to meet the needs of people with dementia.”'

Fiona Lowry, CEO of the Good Care Group, added: “We welcome further investment in Alzheimer’s research – the expertise gained from medical and academic research helps ensure our highly-trained carers can deliver the very highest standard of care to help increase quality of life for those living with the disease.”