ADI to lead post-G8 global dementia task force

13 December 2013 - Alzheimer’s Disease International welcomes the initiatives that came out of the G8 Dementia Summit and congratulates the UK government for its leadership in hosting this event, recognising dementia as one of the most significant health crises of the twenty-first century.

The summit presents the biggest opportunity to date to transform dementia research and care. Sustained collaborative action is now required from all world leaders, not just the G8, to tackle one of the most expensive global health issues.  In 2010, ADI estimated the annual cost of dementia care and support at US$604 billion.

ADI is encouraged that the UK government has committed to doubling the research funding to £122 million by 2025, and hopes that other G8 countries will also “increase collectively and significantly the amount of funding for dementia research.”

In their joint report Dementia: a public health priority, the WHO and ADI have called upon all governments to develop a national dementia strategy. Without a plan, nations risk operating in crisis mode, crippling health care systems.

ADI’s response from civil society is to lead, with its member associations, a global task force that focuses on facilitating research, further developing dementia friendly communities and awareness initiatives and improving health and social care systems.

Latest figures released last week by Alzheimer’s Disease International show the dementia epidemic is 17% larger than previously estimated. With 44 million people affected in 2013, these figures will treble to 135 million by 2050. The G8 countries are predicted to see the smallest increase in dementia prevalence, whereas low and middle income countries will see some of the highest increases. This makes dementia a truly global issue.

ADI believes that if the G8 Dementia Summit is to make a difference to the lives of people with dementia, research must be inclusive of best practices in care. Policymakers and health professionals should continue to consult people with dementia and their carers on all aspects of the dementia journey, ensuring people with dementia worldwide have a voice and are able to live with dignity and respect.