Tuesday, September 21, 2010
World Alzheimer's Day
Today is World Alzheimer's Day, and a new report was released on Capital Hill that documents the global cost of Alzheimer's and related dementias to be more than $600 BILLION, and 70% of the costs occur in North America and Western Europe!! Dementia actually costs 1% of the entire world's GDP (gross domestic product.)
This disease affects all societies, and with our aging population, the cost is anticipated to increase drastically. "People with dementia, their families and friends are affected on personal, emotional, financial and social levels. Lack of awareness is a global problem. A proper understanding of the societal costs of dementia, and how these impact upon families, health and social care services and governments may help to address this problem."
On a personal level, my mother died after a twelve year struggle with Alzheimer's, and now my father is fading away from Parkinson's dementia. The emotional toll alone is devastating, but the financial and time consumption adds dramatically to the burden of this disease. If this illess has not affected your family or loved ones yet, be aware that chances are very high that it will. Increasing awareness of dementia should help focus more attention on research for both cure and prevention of this crippling disease.
BOTTOM LINE: Read the 2010 World Alzheimer's Report for a sobering look at the staggering costs of dementia.