Dementia care - a massive challenge for the future
Experts are warning that dementia is the greatest health and social crisis of the century as its global financial burden continues to escalate.
The World Alzheimer Report says dementia costs will amount to more than 1% of the world's gross domestic product this year at $604billion (£388billion). To put this massive sum into context, if dementia were a country it would be the world's 18th largest economy.
The lion's share, about 70% of the costs, occurs in Western Europe and North America. This is partly because these countries boast a higher life expectancy, meaning increasingly more people are living into their 70s, 80s and 90s. As people live longer, inevitably rates of this age-related illness will go up and there will be more people with dementia needing care.
BBC Health News, 21 September 2010
Professor Louise Robinson
An academic GP for 16 years, Professor Louise Robinson is part of the Ageing, Health and Society Research Group at the University of Newcastle, UK. Her research focuses on:
- identifying factors which facilitate healthy ageing, and hence minimise dependency, as people grow older in the community;
- exploring the spectrum of dementia care from diagnosis and early detection, through to advanced dementia and end of life care. An emerging strand of this research programme is exploring the development and evaluation of assistive technologies to promote independence for people with dementia.
At the Institute of Nanotechnology’s forthcoming major Conference, Advanced Technologies for an Ageing Population, to be held in Glasgow on 23-24 March 2011, Professor Robinson will provide a broad overview of technologies that can help in the early diagnosis and care of dementia, and that can promote independent living for its increasing number of sufferers.
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