ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE AFFECTS MORE THAN 500,000 CANADIAN'S
 

The population of Canada continues to age dramatically as the baby boomers reach 60. Alzheimer's disease is the second most feared disease by Canadians as we age.

To assist in the understanding of this complex issue, the Alzheimer Society released a report, Rising Tide: The Impact of Dementia on Canadian Society, conducted by RiskAnalytica, a leading firm in risk management, which evaluated the impact of dementia on Canadian society. The report found …

  • Today, half a million Canadians have Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia. Approximately 71,000 of them are under age 65.
  • This means that 1 in 11 Canadians over the age of 65 currently has Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia.
  • More than 103,000 Canadians will develop dementia every year. This is equivalent to one person every five minutes. By 2038, this will become one person every two minutes, or more than 257,000 people per year.
  • If nothing changes, the number of people living with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia is expected to more than double, reaching 1.1 million Canadians within 25 years.

Alzheimer’s disease versus other dementia

  • Alzheimer's disease is the leading form of dementia. It currently represents 63% of all dementias. This will increase to 68% by year 2034, i.e. within a generation
  • Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia. It currently represents 20% of all dementias and will continue to do so within a generation.

Alzheimer’s disease – a gender specific illness?

  • Today, women represent 72% of all cases of Alzheimer’s disease. In the context of overall dementia, women represent 62% of cases.
  • In comparison, women represent 47% of vascular dementia cases.

Pressure on Families

  • The hours of care delivered by unpaid family members are expected to more than triple, increasing from 231 million hours to 756 million hours by 2038.

Economic Burden of Dementia

Right now, dementia costs Canadians $15 billion a year, a figure expected to grow ten times to $153 billion by 2038.

Economic Burden of Dementia (in future dollars)

  • 2008 - $15 billion
  • 2018 - $37 billion
  • 2028 - $75 billion
  • 2038 - $153 billion

Cumulative Consequences of Dementia over a 30-year period

Cumulative data represents the combined total of either the economic costs of dementia per year, or the number of people developing dementia per year. By 2038, the cumulative incidence of dementia will be more than 5.5 million people, with a cumulative economic cost of $872 billion.

Alzheimer’s and Other Dementia

Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between Alzheimer's and dementia. Think of dementia as an umbrella that covers all types of cognitive decline, and Alzheimer's disease as one of the many types of disorders that is under the umbrella. Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia, and the Alzheimer's Foundation states that up to 64% of all dementias are due to Alzheimer's.

But Alzheimer's is often diagnosed after other types of dementia have been ruled out, as the disease can only be definitively diagnosed with a post-mortem autopsy on the brain.

The Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) defines dementia as "an overall decline in intellectual function, including difficulties with language, simple calculations, planning and judgment, and motor skills, as well as loss of memory."

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The Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) defines dementia as "an overall decline in intellectual function, including difficulties with language, simple calculations, planning and judgment, and motor skills, as well as loss of memory."

Click here to learn more about Alzheimer's disease

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