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LSE research shows dementia burden will be £5.8 billion more than predicted

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Previous research showing the impact dementia will have on care costs in England have been dramatically underestimated, according to new figures published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

The research, from a London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) report commissioned by the Alzheimer's Research Trust, shows that the cost to provide long-term care to older people with dementia will increase to £16.7 billion by 2031, as opposed to £10.9 billion as estimated in 2003.

LSE researchers Adelina Comas-Herrera, Raphael Wittenberg, Linda Pickard and Professor Martin Knapp believe the number of people with dementia and other causes of cognitive impairment (CI) will rise by 83 per cent by the year 2031 (from 468,000 to 855,000). The impact on society and the economy is much greater than originally estimated:

  • The cost of long-term care for older people with CI is projected to rise from £5.4 billion in 2002 to £16.7 billion in 2031 (at constant 2002 prices) - amounting to a rise from 0.60 per cent to 0.96 per cent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product)
  • The number of hours of home care arranged by local authorities for older people with CI would need to rise by 91 per cent
  • The number of people with CI in care homes would rise by 88 per cent, from an estimate of 205,000 in 2002 to 385,000 in 2031

LSE researchers compared figures for 2002 with projected figures for the year 2031, under a range of assumptions about future mortality and prevalence rates, and future patterns of care.

Lead researcher Professor Martin Knapp, professor of social policy at LSE, said: 'The research shows that if treatments developed were to reduce the percentage of older people with severe cognitive impairment by only 1 per cent per year, this would nearly offset the increasing long-term care costs.

'A dramatically rising ageing population over the next 25 years will have major implications - not only in terms of diseases like Alzheimer's - but also in terms of the wider impact on society.'

Rebecca Wood, chief executive for the Alzheimer's Research Trust, said: 'Unless we develop more effective treatments for dementia, there will be a hefty rise in demand for care services with major consequences for all of us.

'The Government needs to make Alzheimer's research funding a priority. Only £11 is spent on UK research into Alzheimer's for every person affected by the disease, compared to £289 for cancer patients.'

Ends

For further information, to receive a copy of the report or to set up interviews with Professor Knapp or Rebecca Wood, please contact Sally Morrison on 01223 843304 or Claire Jagot on 020 7815 3900 or email claire.jagot@munroforster.com|

Notes:

About the research:

  • Cognitive Impairment in Older People: future demand for long-term care services and the associated costs by Adelina Comas-Herrera, Raphael Wittenberg, Linda Pickard and Martin Knapp is funded by the Alzheimer's Research Trust
  • Published in the October issue of the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
  • Cognitive impairment describes problems in thinking, learning and remembering. Dementia is the most common cause of cognitive impairment

About the Alzheimer's Research Trust:

  • The Alzheimer's Research Trust is the UK's leading research charity for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, and is dedicated to funding and encouraging the very best UK-led research
  • The Alzheimer's Research Trust provides free information on Alzheimer's disease and other related dementias: phone 01223 843899
  • The Alzheimer's Research Trust relies solely on donations to fund its research

About Alzheimer's and dementia:

  • There is no cure, fully-effective treatment or prevention for Alzheimer's or dementia
  • Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for around two thirds of dementia in the elderly
  • Currently 575,000 people in England have dementia

Press cuttings

Craegmoor News (11 October)
Dementia costs underestimated
According to figures published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, the cost of dementia care in England has been underestimated. Research from the London School of Economics (LSE) shows that the cost of long-term care for people with dementia will rise to £16.7 billion by 2031, although a 2003 projection put it at £10.9 billion. Professor Martin Knapp, lead researcher at LSE, said:' A dramatically rising ageing population over the next 25 years will have major implications - not only in terms of diseases like Alzheimer's - but also in terms of the wider impact on society.'

Nursing in Practice
Dementia costs "underestimated" (8 Oct)
The impact dementia has on care costs in England has been dramatically underestimated, new figures shows

8 October 2007

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