We want the findings from our studies to make a difference. We need action, soon, to meet the needs of the rapidly growing numbers of older people in low and middle income countries. Governments, policymakers, doctors and other healthcare professionals need to understand the problem and the steps that they will need to take to address it. However, awareness-raising begins at home – among our study participants, their families and the local communities – and extends nationally, regionally and internationally. Progress can be made only when enough people have come to understand the problem for themselves. The more people who have a common understanding, the more they have the power to demand change for the better.
Did you know?
- There are now over 24 million people with dementia worldwide, two thirds of whom live in low and middle income countries.
- Worldwide, there is one new case of dementia every seven seconds.
- Numbers of people with dementia will double every twenty years to over 80 million by the year 2040.
- Numbers will increase most rapidly in developing countries, particularly in Latin America, India and China.
Some important findings from the 10/66 studies
The numbers of people with dementia
- Around 10% (one in ten) of those aged 65 and over have some degree of dementia. The figure is lower, around 5% (one in 20) in rural areas and in less developed countries.
- The proportion affected rises to between 1 in 6 and 1 in 4 of those aged 80 and over.
The impact of dementia
- Dementia is by far the most common reason for older people to need care and support at home. Three-quarters or more of those needing much care have dementia.
- Living with and caring for a relative with dementia leads to stress for family carers. They are two to four times more likely to be depressed and one fifth or more have had to give up or cut back on paid work to care.
- Common psychological problems linked to dementia, like hallucinations (seeing and hearing things) and delusions (false beliefs and accusations), and behavioural problems like wandering, aggression and agitation are important causes of carer strain.
- Three quarters of carers are women.
- One third or more of people with dementia live in three generation households, with children under the age of 16.
Healthcare services for people with dementia
Unlike those with physical health problems, those with dementia are no more likely to use healthcare services than those who are fit and well.
- More than half of those with dementia have not used any healthcare services in the last three months.
- Psychological and behavioural problems, although troublesome for caregivers, do not seem to lead to helpseeking from healthcare services. Indeed, if anything, those with these problems are less likely to go to see the doctor.
10/66 is working with Alzheimer’s Disease International and HelpAge International to draw attention to these findings, and to campaign for change
We are urging governments to:*
- Provide access to high quality healthcare that meets the needs of older people.
- Ensure economic security for all older people (with some specific issues for people with dementia and their families).
- Offer help and support for carers.
- Encourage solidarity across the generations – this is something that affects us all.
* Most governments, worldwide, have actually already signed up to these principles in a document called the Madrid International Plan for Action on Ageing. The question is, what action, if any, are they taking?
What can I do to help?
- Join us. Register here, and we will send you regular news and updates about the 10/66 research and its implications.
- Tell other people about what you have learnt from this website. Your family, your neighbours, your friends, your doctor.
- Contact your national Alzheimer’s Association. These organisations, that do such valuable work for people with dementia and their carers, need donations and volunteers.
- Campaign. Write letters to newspapers. Contact your member of parliament, or local authority and ask them what they are doing to help solve these problems.