15 May 2019

The Global Impact of Dementia

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By Michael Rambaldini

Director | Certified Financial Planner |Aged Care Professional

50 million people in the world suffer with dementia. That’s a global community around the size of  Spain. That community is likely to rise to about 152 million people by 2050, that’s the size of Russia. The current cost of the disease is about a trillion US dollars a year, and that’s forecast to double by 2030. This figure includes an estimated cost for “informal” carers, the people who suddenly find themselves acting as 24-hour live in nurses to parents, husbands or wives. The annual global number of informal care is estimated at about 82 billion hours and 71% of these hours are supplied by women. (2018 World Alzheimer Report – Alzheimer’s Disease International). 

Data from Dementia Australia shows that more than 425,000 people live with dementia and an estimated 250 Australians develop dementia every day.

These are frightening statistics. What is more frightening is that the damage this disease causes to the brain cells can’t be reversed. Dementia is not a normal part of ageing and can happen to anybody. It could happen to your mum, your dad. One day it might be you. There is no cure.

At this stage there is no drug to prevent or cure dementia. Medication may help manage some of the symptoms of dementia. More research is needed to develop effective drugs.

How can I reduce my risk?

There may be ways of delaying the onset of dementia. At least a third of Alzheimer’s disease is related to lifestyle factors such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cholesterol and high blood pressure.

So what can you do?

People can reduce their risk of dementia by engaging in regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, not smoking, avoiding harmful use of alcohol and by controlling their weight, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. What’s good for your heart is also good for your brain.

How’s fast food looking now?

For more information on Aged Care, you can visit our website www.verante.com.au and we can help you.

The author is an employee of Verante Financial Planning in Castle Hill, Corporate Authorised Representative of Magnitude Group Limited, Licence No 221557, Magnitude Group Limited ABN 54 086 266 202.

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