Alzheimer’s Disease International, Global Coalition on Aging and Lien Foundation launch new Dementia Innovation Readiness Index focused on city-level responses to dementia

8 October 2020 – ADI has partnered with the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) and the Lien Foundation to launch the third Dementia Innovation Readiness Index, focusing on city-level innovation readiness to dementia in 30 major cities globally.

The report ‘Dementia Innovation Readiness Index 2020: 30 Global Cities’ launches today at 12pm BST during a global webinar featuring a panel discussion with experts commenting on innovation readiness and preparedness for dementia from around the world.

Sign up for the launch webinar here.

By mid-century, the number of those aged 65 or older set to double, and nearly two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas, up from just over half today.  The number of older people in cities is growing faster than in rural areas, according to the OECD.

There are over 50 million people living with dementia globally, a figure set to triple by 2050, every 3 seconds someone in the world develops dementia. Many of the cities in this Index have populations in the multi-millions. 

Given these shifts across society, the need for local leadership to address dementia is clear, yet the Index findings suggest that cities around the world have not fully leveraged opportunities to support the development or adoption of innovations in dementia care, treatment and support and must take on a leadership role. A willingness to act at a local leadership level is crucial to a city’s preparedness and ability to innovate.

Paola Barbarino, Chief Executive of ADI said: “The Index gives us a snapshot of how prepared some of our major cities are to embrace dementia innovation. During COVID-19 we have seen how important cities have been in managing the pandemic. With their large concentration of population, cities have an opportunity and a challenge to drive best practice. From a policy perspective, the Index provides a call to action for local and national governments to drive policies to better the lives of those affected by dementia and their loved ones.”

The global Covid-19 pandemic has further highlighted the need for innovation and preparedness, especially in urban spaces, where scarcity of resources, has presented major issues for the dementia community. 

The report calls strongly for cities to fulfil their commitments under the WHO’s Global action plan on dementia to engage fully with their national dementia plans, in their development and in their deployment. Cities can and should play a vital role in improving dementia diagnosis rates, post-diagnostic support, quality of care, addressing stigma, and crucially in enabling new and existing funding models for dementia research.