ADI and Karolinska Institutet launch report on estimates of informal care

4 July 2018 - ADI and Karolinska Institutet today launched a timely report focussing on global estimates of informal care.  

This report sets out to answer some of the questions raised in the 2015 World Alzheimer Report. In the 2015 Report, ADI presented estimates of the global societal economic impact of dementia. The global costs then were estimated to be US$ 818 billion, a figure now (2018) surpassing US$ 1 trillion per year. Of these costs, 40% were related to informal care, 40% to the social care sector and 20% to the medical sector. However, these costs were distributed in an uneven way: 87% occurred in high-income countries, and in low-income countries, costs of informal care constituted 69% of the costs, while the corresponding cost for high-income countries were 38%.

The primary aims of this new report are to:

  • present global estimates of informal care hours, 
  • compare the global distribution of caregiver time estimates with that of costs
  • highlight gender patterns.

In this report we estimate that the annual global number of informal care hours provided to people with dementia living at home was about 82 billion hours in 2015, equating to 2,089 hours per year or 6 hours per day. This is the equivalent of more than 40 million full-time workers in 2015, a figure that will increase to 65 million full-time workers by 2030.

The report was authored by Prof Anders Wimo, Aging Research Center, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS), Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University; Prof Serge Gauthier, McGill Center for Studies in Aging, Douglas Mental Health Research Institute, Montreal; and Prof Martin Prince, Global Observatory for Ageing and Dementia Care, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, Health Service and Population Research Department, King's College London.