Dementia 'to become an epidemic in US'

Dementia 'to become an epidemic in US'

Dementia in the US could become an "epidemic", according to experts, after it was revealed 15 million Americans are now carers for people with the condition.

With around 5.4 million people in the US having the condition, their 14.9 million caregivers account for an estimated 17 billion hours of unpaid care, which would otherwise cost a total of $200 billion (£124.3 billion).

According to the Alzheimer's Association, more than 60 per cent of family caregivers say they have high levels of stress due to care giving, with 33 per cent reporting symptoms of depression.

Dr Gary Kennedy, of Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, told HealthDay News: "If people with the illness become aggressive, or they try to push their family members away, or they become so agitated that they can't sleep at night, these are the kinds of issues that can make it very hard for family members to cope."

In the UK, the Institute for Public Policy Research has said that NHS reforms may not be enough to deal with the steadily increasing demand for dementia care in London.

Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes.