Published in 2012, ‘Dementia: a public health priority’ provides the most authoritative overview of the impact of dementia worldwide. In addition to best practices and practical case studies from around the world, it contains the most comprehensive collection of data, including hard-to-get statistics from low- and middle-income countries.
To prepare the report, the World Health Organization (WHO) and ADI commissioned reports from four working groups of experts and sought additional inputs from nearly two dozen international contributors and more than 20 expert reviewers.
The release of the report highlights the commitment of the World Health Organization to making dementia a global health priority by calling on national governments to address the increasing challenges it poses on a global, national, regional and local level.
Key messages from report include:
- Dementia is not a normal part of ageing
- The huge cost of dementia will challenge health systems to deal with the predicted future increase of prevalence. The costs are estimated at US$604 billion per year at present and are set to increase even more quickly than the prevalence
- People live for many years after the onset of symptoms of dementia. With appropriate support, many can and should be enabled to continue to engage and contribute within society and have a good quality of life
- Dementia is overwhelming for the caregivers and adequate support is required for them from the health, social, financial and legal systems
- People with dementia and their caregivers often have unique insights to their condition and life. They should be involved in formulating the policies, plans, laws and services that relate to them