Dementia’s total economic and societal cost currently stands at about $818 billion worldwide. If that sounds like an unfathomably huge number, it is. But it’s about to get a whole lot bigger.
Experts at the Alzheimer’s Disease Institute (ADI) in London recently announced a new forecast for the global dementia scene. It includes a sharp spike in the number of dementia cases around the world and an increase in large-scale costs to accompany them.
ADI expects dementia to officially become a trillion-dollar disease by 2018. Those costs are then expected to rise again, reaching $2 trillion by 2030.
Currently, doctors make about 9.9 million dementia diagnoses every year, globally. That amounts to one new case of dementia every 3.2 seconds.
Those aren’t the only startling statistics in ADI’s report, though. Consider the following:
• There are currently 46.8 million people living with dementia.
• That number is expected to more than double to 131.5 million by 2050.
• More than half of dementia patients (58%) live in low-income or middle-income countries, with the largest population (22.9 million) living in Asia.
• Even in wealthy countries like the United States, dementia represents one of the largest financial strains in healthcare.
While the problem has grown increasingly urgent in recent years, governments have been slow to respond with solutions. Fortunately, the scientific community is moving more quickly in its ever-evolving understanding of this terrible disease. That progress notwithstanding, though, a cure remains elusive.
Of course, the $1,000,000,000,000 figure is global in scale. For the individual suffering from dementia and his or her family, the cost of treatment and long-term care already feels like a trillion dollars.
None of us know whether we’ll be affected by Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. Increasingly, the odds are that we will at least know someone who is. The best way to protect ourselves, then, is to begin planning now.
By being proactive, we can assure that we’ll be able to afford whatever misfortune life might deal us in old age. There is really no better counter to an incurable disease than to look it squarely in the eye and say, “I am prepared.” We can help get you there. Call the Canton advance planning attorneys at Bixler Moore, LLC today.