Dementia can be caused by myriad of factors and is often misunderstood. Worldwide, 35+ million are estimated to suffer from dementia and that number is expected to triple by 2050 according to the World Health Organization.
Dementia is highly misunderstood and overwhelming for sufferers and caretakers. Lack of awareness and challenges to diagnosis can exacerbate the difficulties of dealing with this condition. So what needs to be known about dementia to improve overall understanding of its wide reaching affects and population?
Dementia is not typical of an aging population
While dementia exists primarily in those who are aging, it is not part of a natural aging progression. Many illnesses can cause chronic or progressive issues that contribute to dementia. Some symptoms include atypical behavior, memory issues, decline of cognitive abilities and a struggle to perform regular daily activities.
Population affected by dementia
In 2010, a little over 35 million people were affected by dementia and more than half live in countries classified as low to middle income.
Across the world, 7.7 million new cases of dementia are reported. This equates to an astonishing amount of new cases that equals one every four seconds. By 2030 it is expected that 115.4 million people will have been diagnosed with dementia.
Health Care Costs
604 billion dollars a year is spent on dementia in just the United States. As the baby boomer population continues to age, these numbers will rise.
The time and effort and emotional investment involved to take care of a loved one with dementia can be exhausting. From physical to emotional pressures, to the financial strain a caregiver may endure, those who help loved ones or friends with dementia struggle with a myriad of challenges.
With caring family members or friends, potential sufferers can be diagnosed early. With early diagnosis, the prognosis for the sufferer from dementia is greater. Physical, cognitive, and emotional health can be supported and psychological symptoms can be helped.
Understanding social expectations/discrimination
It is an unfortunate fact that those with dementia may be treated differently both in hospital settings as well as social settings. It is important for caregivers to prepare sufferers for this, and to be prepared on their own as well.
Even though you may be a caregiver or sufferer, it is important to become involved in awareness. Increased awareness helps society to embrace research and individuals to become empathetic to the needs of a dementia patient.
If you are a caregiver or sufferer of dementia, you understand the need for research. Promoting fundraisers and other tools to promote research will help to build awareness and funding to cure or treat dementia.
Dementia affects everyone
As a caregiver or sufferer, the affects of dementia are well known. However, as the numbers of those who are affected continue to rise, it is important to spread the word about dementia. Being informed about the condition helps family members to informally diagnose before seeking care. Furthermore, knowing about the condition can help individuals to understand the condition’s affects and therefore participate in fundraisers and awareness events to help individuals to understand the far reaching affects of this condition.