More than 40,000 people in the UK with young onset dementia
Published: Autumn 2014
The Alzheimer’s Society has published new figures regarding the cost and prevalence of dementia in the UK. The Dementia UK, Second Edition states that by 2015 there will be 850,000 people in the UK with dementia, at the current estimated prevalence of 1 in every 14 people over the age of 65 with the illness. It also states that there are an estimated 42,325 people under the age of 65 years with early onset dementia (or young onset dementia).
In terms of the cost of dementia, the report states that £4.3 billion is spent on health costs and
£10.3 billion is spent on social care (publicly and privately funded). A further £11.6 billion is contributed by the work of unpaid carers of people with dementia. In total, the cost of dementia to society in the UK is £26.3 billion.
The new data drives home the massive growth in the number of people living with dementia, due to a growing population, which is living longer. At the current prevalence, it forecasts that the number of people with dementia in the UK will increase to 1,142,677 by 2025 and 2,092,945 by 2051, an increase of 40% over the next 12 years and of 157% over the next 38 years. The estimated number of people with early onset dementia has been adjusted to 42,325 since their 2007 report, reflecting the new way that they are predicting the figures – using a consensus of scores collected from a group of experts, rather than relying on referral figures alone.
Presented as a ‘worst case scenario’, the data aims to inform health planning, monitoring service delivery, and quality improvement in prevention and care. The authors’ emphasise the need for continued monitoring of the number of people with dementia and mortality rates, to see how earlier intervention and the integration of health and care effect these figures.
The report includes the number of people with dementia by parliamentary constituency for 2013. Data for the Oxfordshire constituencies (which will be our catchment area for our new supported living facility) show that last year there were 54 people in Oxford East and 73 people in Oxford West and Abingdon with dementia under the age of 65 years. We know that many of these people will remain living at home with the support of their families and other agencies, but when this is no longer possible (research by Christian Bakker suggests that people with young onset dementia move into care, on average, nine years following diagnosis), our home will provide an alternative to a care home for them.
Jane Norman, Director, YoungDementia UK Homes, said: “The Alzheimer UK’s report highlights the urgency with which we need to improve the care and resourcing of services to meet the so called ‘dementia epidemic’.
“The premise of providing a more integrated approach to health and social care is one of the ways in which services – and people’s health outcomes – will be improved. We are giving this some thought in the development of our model of supported living, in particular through our plans to recruit a multi-disciplinary team from the health and social care services to ensure continuity of care for our residents.”