World Health Organization (WHO) reports that people living with dementia is expected to double by 2030, and triple by 2050. The expected rising numbers are thought to be attributable to improving medical care in poorer countries, and the associated increase in life expectancy. The financial burden to care for individuals with dementia is expected to rise even faster.
The Mayo Clinic describes dementia as a group of symptoms affecting intellectual and social abilities severely enough to interfere with daily functioning. Many causes of dementia symptoms exist. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of a progressive dementia.
According to the WHO, emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil have functioning health care systems but they do not have the capacity to deal with the massive rise in dementia.
“Most people regard dementia as a normal sign of aging, which is not correct,” said Dr. Shekhar Saxena, the head of WHO’s mental health division. “Older people have problems of memory and cognition, but dementia is a disease with much more rapid symptoms and progression.”