Know the impact of dementia on International Women’s Day

08 March 2018 – Today is International Women’s Day but what you might not know is that women everywhere are disproportionately affected by dementia, both as carers and those living with the disease.

Dementia is the collective name for progressive brain syndromes which affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Dementia is not a part of normal ageing, but typically affects individuals later in life.

The majority of people with dementia live in low and middle-income countries, where women can face an additional pressure as the sole bearer of responsibility for older persons and the home.

Someone develops dementia every three seconds. Women are more likely to develop the disease themselves and are also more likely to make a change to their employment or other activities in order to care for those affected. Of the estimated trillion dollar cost of dementia, it is estimated that as much as 44% is made up of the informal costs of care.
A 2017 report by Global Alzheimer’s and Dementia Action Alliance, based on data from ADI, showed that only 12 out of 29 national plans on dementia globally specifically addressed the need for a gender-sensitive response to the disease.

Paola Barbarino, CEO of ADI, encourages more to be done to develop dementia plans in every country, and to ensure that they are relevant to the majority of those individuals who are women, and affected by dementia:

“Thinking about gender, and about women in particular, is important to the growing momentum to tackle dementia globally. International Women’s Day is a timely reminder to ensure that women everywhere are not left out as we work to change to face of dementia.”

Support International Women's Day by using the hashtag, #PressforProgress.

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