News Release

New Report Reveals Disproportionate Impact Of Dementia On Women Across The World

London, 5 June 2015

Dementia prevalence, impact and risk higher for women than men

A new report by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) has revealed how women are much more likely to be affected by dementia than men. The majority of people living with the disease and those most at risk of developing dementia are women, and women account for an overwhelming majority of caregivers and health professionals.

Women and Dementia: A global research review, released today, provides an overview of international research from all over the world, highlighting the need for a broader, evidence based approach to female-targeted dementia health programmes in low and middle income countries, where female-led family caring remains the predominant care model.

ADI estimates that by 2050, 71% of the 135 million people with dementia will live in low and middle income countries (LMICs). The vast majority of these people will be cared for at home, most likely by a female relative. The report outlines the numerous socio-economic and domestic challenges facing women living in LMICs and suggests that women all over the world are much less likely to access help and support than their male counterparts.

The report also highlights the experiences of female caregiving in high income countries, and calls on policy makers to integrate better support systems for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) females. 

In light of this research, ADI is urging all countries to acknowledge and address the disproportionate impact of dementia on women, and to provide tailored information provision and support to better enable women to provide care and to feel cared for themselves.

Professor Dawn Brooker, Director of the Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester, author of the report, commented: “The reality is that more women live with dementia, more women are family carers and more women make up the health and social care workforce. Dementia initiatives will impact on women differently from men and all policy makers need to be aware of this. This report underlines the fact the increasing prevalence of dementia worldwide will have a significant impact on women worldwide and needs to be recognised at a family, community and policy level.”

Marc Wortmann, Executive Director of Alzheimer’s Disease International, also commented: “This report demonstrates the growing need for governments across the world to acknowledge that the challenges faced by women affected by dementia are part of the wider scope of women’s issues that need addressing, especially in low and middle income countries. We must take action immediately to develop public health and care policies that support women in all aspects of their dementia journey, whether it is as a caregiver or as someone living with dementia themselves.”

The report was supported by grants from Red & Yellow Care and WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s.

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Notes to editors

The full report can be found here: www.alz.co.uk/women-and-dementia

About Alzheimer’s Disease International

ADI is the international federation of 83 Alzheimer associations around the world, in official relations with the World Health Organization. ADI's vision is an improved quality of life for people with dementia and their families throughout the world. ADI believes that the key to winning the fight against dementia lies in a unique combination of global solutions and local knowledge. As such, it works locally, by empowering Alzheimer associations to promote and offer care and support for people with dementia and their carers, while working globally to focus attention on dementia and campaign for policy change from governments. For more information, visit www.alz.co.uk.

About Red & Yellow Care

Red & Yellow Care is a pioneering care provider for the over 50s. They are committed to dramatically improving health and wellbeing in later life, by developing smarter and better care solutions. They provide bespoke and responsive health and social care services in the UK, with a specialism in dementia and other long-term conditions prevalent in later life. For more information, visit www.redandyellowcare.com.

About WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s

As a member of the USAgainstAlzheimer's Network, WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s amplifies the powerful voice of women across the globe to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. Our work is fuelled by a network of women who have grown impatient with the current progress and want to bring Alzheimer’s out of the shadows and into the national spotlight. We empower women to speak up, we advocate for research funding, and we promote courageous research challenges to make finding a cure for Alzheimer’s our new reality. For more information, visit www.usagainstalzheimers.org/networks/women