Every September Alzheimer’s Disease International publishes a report on the research conducted over the last year. While we wait for this years’ report, The 2022 World Alzheimer Report has several interesting statistics and insights from their annual survey that deserve attention. At Anthem Memory Care, we believe it is important to help everyone better understand the disease and, for those who have been diagnosed, navigate the challenges of the road ahead more effectively.
Here is the latest global data on dementia:
- It is very common. Worldwide, there are currently over 55 million people living with dementia. Every 3 seconds, a new case of dementia is diagnosed. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.
- Many cases go undiagnosed. Up to three quarters of individuals with dementia have not been officially diagnosed.
- It’s a disease that worries most people. About 80% of the public have a concern that they will develop dementia at some point in their lives.
- It brings significant disruption to the lives of caregivers. Over 50% of caregivers report that their own health has suffered while caring for a loved one with dementia, although they continue to feel positive about their roles.
- Misinformation continues to proliferate. Up to 62% of healthcare workers all over the world still believe that dementia is just a part of normal aging.
- There is a general lack of planning after a diagnosis. 64% of individuals with dementia reported that they lacked any sort of roadmap or plan as to how they will receive care as their condition progresses.
- Dementia brings enormous stress to family caregivers. 54% of informal caregivers reported feeling high levels of stress either often or all the time. And that stress impacts their working lives.
What does this tell us? It shows that there is still more work to do, from education on the disease itself, to treatment, to better support and resources for individuals with dementia and those who care for them.
Fortunately, the Alzheimer’s Association continues to be a prime source of information to help everyone educate themselves and to be more prepared in the event a loved one is diagnosed with dementia. Here are a few of their resources:
- You can get involved with one of the many Alzheimer’s Association chapters located throughout the U.S. Here is the link to Find a chapter closest to you.
- There are several topics related to dementia you can access through the Alzheimer’s Association’s extensive library of articles, books and databases available at Alzheimer's Association Virtual Library.
- A free 24/7 Helpline is available which is run by experienced professionals who have instant access to an abundance of resources as well as being trained to respond to your concerns and answer questions.
- Another convenient way to get information and answers to your questions is through the Alzheimer’s Association ALZConnected online community.
The most important thing to understand is that “waiting” is not a good strategy. If you suspect that a loved one may be in the early stages of dementia, now is the time to take action. Arming yourself with information from trusted resources is a good start. And remember, our Anthem Memory Care communities are always ready and willing to answer your questions and address your concerns. Reach out to us. We’re here to help.