The number of people with dementia is expected to double by 2030, and more than triple by 2050. But experts say the costs of caring for people with dementia are likely to rise even faster than the prevalence, especially in the developing world, as more formal social care systems emerge and rising incomes lead to higher opportunity costs.
In high income countries, like the UK, most of the cost goes toward social care such as paying for residential and nursing home care. While in lower income countries, informal care predominates with families stepping in to provide this care. This is illustrated in the chart below.
The World Alzheimer Report 2010 provides the clearest, most comprehensive global picture yet of the economic impact of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
The report includes an estimate of the worldwide cost of dementia, including direct medical costs, direct non-medical costs and costs of informal (family) care. The estimates are broken down by world region and include analysis of the differences between low and high income countries. The report also contains important policy recommendations.