Along with the overall population growth in our country, there is a large increase in the elderly life expectancy. People with chronic deseases, such as dementia, are living longer. Due to the evolution of science and medicine, people nowadays live longer. How does this affect people with dementia?
The rates of people with dementia in Greece are stable at almost constant levels:
According to the World Health Organization, the disease affects about 6% of people over 65, and one in five over 80 will have some form of dementia.
Unfortunately, the predictions for the future, arising from the statistics so far, are not encouraging at all. The number of people with dementia is set to increase sharply by 2050. At thr same time, Greece is expected to see a rapid increase in the number of people with dementia and which are currently estimated at around 200,000.
The impact of this expected increase will be particularly pressing for both the country’s health system and the caregivers of people with dementia (family or professional caregivers). People suffering from dementia are far more vulnerable to various kinds of diseases. This, in line with the increase in life expectancy, is a challenge for families and professional caregivers.
While dementia is not recognized as disability even when it is severe level, needs for care are great. These needs, of course, are usually covered by the family members of the person with dementia. A large proportion of people housed in older care units, are people with dementia.
It is especially important for people with dementia and their families and also for the society as a whole to provide information, proper management and care and access to modern treatment methods.
As important as the search for new drugs and treatments for the disease, it is also to provide health services to people that already have dementia at an advanced level.