Dementia will cost UK economy £1BILLION every week by 2025, experts warn

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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Dementia will cost the UK economy £1bn every week by 2025, experts have warned.

A report by the Alzheimer’s Society calculated that the cost of social care and unpaid carers will reach £50bn by the end of next year.

Growing diagnosis rates combined with NHS strain has led to a rise in prolonged or avoidable hospitalisations, worsening the symptoms for many of those living with dementia.

A report by the Alzheimer’s Society calculated that the cost of social care and unpaid carers will reach £50bn by the end of next year

Today, leading dementia charities, doctors and researchers are joining forces to launch the Geller Commission to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions for those with the disease.

The commission will review avoidable hospital admissions and occupancies, which are costing thousands of lives as well as the NHS, asking the public and health experts to contribute to its work.

More than 900,000 people in the UK are currently living with dementia and the condition is the UK’s single biggest killer.

Kate Lee, of the Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘High-quality care is vital to keep people safe and reduce the chance of hospitalisation due to avoidable falls or infections.

But they can also be a sign of dementia ¿ the memory-robbing condition plaguing nearly 1million Brits and 7million Americans

But they can also be a sign of dementia — the memory-robbing condition plaguing nearly 1million Brits and 7million Americans

‘Dementia is the biggest health and social care challenge of our time, and with an ageing population and prevalence on the rise the time for reform is now.’ 

In an open letter published today, the Commission’s members underscored the importance of needing a change in the approach to hospital care for those living with dementia and invited nationwide input to its public consultation.

Their Dementia Pathways Report is set to use public evidence and clinical expertise to provide clear recommendations, drawing from the medical, care and technological sectors.

Laurence Geller, hotelier and philanthropist and chairman of the commission, said: ‘We know that too often, when people living with dementia are hospitalised, the care that they receive is not always appropriate for their condition, and their time in hospital can increase the velocity of the disease.

‘It is my hope that by convening this Commission, we can find practical solutions to improve the lives of people living with the impact of a dementia diagnosis and reduce undue pressure on the health service.’

WHAT IS DEMENTIA?

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurological disorders

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurological disorders

A GLOBAL CONCERN 

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders (those affecting the brain) which impact memory, thinking and behaviour. 

There are many types of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common.

Some people may have a combination of different types of dementia.

Regardless of which type is diagnosed, each person will experience dementia in their own unique way.

Dementia is a global concern but it is most often seen in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live into very old age.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED?

The Alzheimer’s Society reports there are more than 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK today. This is projected to rise to 1.6 million by 2040.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, affecting between 50 and 75 per cent of those diagnosed.

In the US, it’s estimated there are 5.5 million Alzheimer’s sufferers. A similar percentage rise is expected in the coming years.

As a person’s age increases, so does the risk of them developing dementia.

Rates of diagnosis are improving but many people with dementia are thought to still be undiagnosed.

IS THERE A CURE?

Currently there is no cure for dementia.

But new drugs can slow down its progression and the earlier it is spotted, the more effective treatments can be.

Source: Alzheimer’s Society 

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