Number of older people needing care set to double by 2050

Number of older people needing care set to double by 2050

According to a new report, there will be 277 million dependent older people living across the world by 2050.

That's three times the amount there is now and it is believed that half that number will be suffering from some form of dementia.

Alzheimer's Disease International, which conducted the research, says that populations in countries such as China and Brazil are ageing at unprecedented rates and they simply do not have the systems in place to take care of these people's needs.

At present, the cost of care for dementia accounts for around one per cent of the world's gross domestic product (GDP) at £385 billion a year, but that figure will rise to more than £690 billion over the course of the next 37 years.

In the European Union, where dementia care currently takes up around 1.2 per cent of GDP, the cost of long-term provisions is likely to double within 50 years.

In order to combat against this, the report states that research funding needs to be increased tenfold.

Professor Martin Prince of King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry and the report's lead author, said: "We need to value the unpaid contribution of family caregivers more, and reward paid caregivers better. We can build quality into our care systems, but to do so while containing costs and achieving equity of access for all will be a challenge."

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society, said the report should serve as a "wake up call" to governments around the world about the immediate need to think more about care provisions.

He added: "The government's G8 summit on dementia this year will be a key opportunity to rally support from world leaders to tackle dementia together. One in three people over 65 will develop dementia so we need to see political leadership to avoid a spiralling global crisis."

At present, an estimated 800,000 are living with dementia in the UK.

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