Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that more than 55 million people, consisting of 8.1 percent of women and 5.4 percent of men over 65 years old, live with dementia (decreased thinking ability).
The number is expected to increase to 78 million in 2030 and to 139 million in 2050, according to a written statement from the WHO received here on Friday (Sep. 3).
Dementia is caused by various diseases and injuries that affect the brain, such as Alzheimer’s disease or stroke. It affects memory and other cognitive functions, as well as the ability to perform daily tasks.
“Dementia robs millions of their memories, independence and dignity, but it also robs those we know and love,” said WHO’s Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
However, WHO noted that only a quarter of countries worldwide have national policies, strategies or plans to support people with dementia and their families.
“The world is failing people with dementia, and that hurts all of us. Four years ago, governments agreed a clear set of targets to improve dementia care. But targets alone are not enough. We need concerted action to ensure that all people with dementia are able to live with the support and dignity they deserve,” said Ghebreyesus.
In 2019, the global cost of dementia was estimated at US$1.3 trillion. This cost is projected to increase to US$1.7 trillion by 2030, or US$2.8 trillion if corrected for increased care costs.
Reporting by Indonesia Window