This site is intended for health professionals only

Dementia costs "underestimated"

The impact dementia has on care costs in England has been dramatically underestimated, new figures shows.

A report commissioned by the Alzheimer's Research Trust shows that the cost to provide long-term care for older people with dementia will increase to £16.7 bn not £10.9 bn as previously thought, by 2031.

Scientists believe the number of people with dementia and other causes of cognitive impairment will rise by 83% by 2031.

The number of people with cognitive impairment in care homes is thought to rise by 88% by 2031.

Professor Martin Knap, lead researcher at the London School of Economics said: “The research shows that if treatments developed were to reduce the percentage of older people with severe cognitive impairment by over 1% per year, this would 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 term 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 us spent on UK research into Alzheimer's for every person affected by the disease, compared to £289 for cancer patients.”

Alzheimer's Research Trust