WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As the world population ages, the traditional system of informal care by family, friends and community will come under increasing strain. Data from the World Alzheimer Report 2013 to be released today predicts the number of dependent older people will rise from 101 million in 2010 to 277 million in 2050, an almost threefold increase. Conservative estimates show that at least 36 million people currently live with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, and that number is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.
In response to the global Alzheimer's epidemic, Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) and Home Instead Senior Care® have joined together to host the Living with Alzheimer's: A Journey of Caring roundtable to discuss the World Alzheimer Report 2013 and the state of caregiving in North America. ADI and Bupa commissioned a team of researchers, led by Professor Martin Prince from King's College London, to produce the report. The development of the report was supported by a grant from Bupa. The events, held in three international capitals, address the global impact of the disease during World Alzheimer's Month. The first event occurred today in Washington, D.C. The other events are in London on Sept. 20 and Beijing on Sept. 26.
The authoritative report on the global Alzheimer's epidemic, World Alzheimer Report 2013 focuses on the changing nature of long-term care due to changing family and societal dynamics – smaller families, increased urbanization, workforce mobility and the changing role of women. It also addresses the impact on caregivers for people with dementia, which often includes decreased earnings and deteriorating physical and mental health. "Ability to care for those with Alzheimer's is an emerging threat," said Marc Wortmann, executive director, ADI. "That's why we've joined with Home Instead Senior Care to address the challenges of care until there's a cure. Every day our organizations see the impact of Alzheimer's on families and their struggles to provide support while juggling children, jobs and other responsibilities. Focus on care for those with Alzheimer's and dementia is critical."
The report examines the global impact of the disease and provides a comprehensive view of the impact the disease has on society. A particular focus this year was the impact of Alzheimer's and dementias on those who provide care. The report concludes that there is need for additional support in order to lessen the burden on the individual as well as the global infrastructure.
"Two-thirds of the calls we get every day are from families in crisis. Most often an older parent, grandparent or spouse fell, began exhibiting increasingly worrisome behaviors, or the family member caring for the older adult simply can't keep up with the demands of care," said Jeff Huber, president of Home Instead Senior Care. "It is our responsibility as a society to determine how we can better support their needs. We're partnering with ADI to raise awareness of the needs and challenges for families and to make the support and educational classes and materials we've developed widely available around the world."
For World Alzheimer's Month, Home Instead Senior Care will host more than 750 free Alzheimer's CARE Training sessions globally. Available both in-person and online, these training sessions help families prepare for and react to the challenging behaviors involved with Alzheimer's and dementia, and also to help family members care for themselves. Complementing the training is a new handbook, Confidence to Care, and the free Alzheimer's care smartphone app, "Alzheimer's and Other Dementias Daily Helper." Both offer practical insights to understanding, managing and preventing the behavioral symptoms associated with dementia and Alzheimer's disease and are designed to be quick reference materials when caregivers are looking for a solution to a situation.
"Studies consistently show that older adults overwhelmingly prefer to age at home," said Huber. "Caregiver stress is a driver for transition to institutional care. Interventions that provide support, education and training for caregivers have considerable potential to reduce or delay transition into institutional settings."
"We must come together, as private organizations, companies and governments and address the issues raised in the report," said Wortmann. "Today was the first step, but together we learn from each other, identify best practices and embark upon this journey of caring."
Professor Martin Prince, author of the report from King's College London in England, said: "People with dementia have special needs. Compared with other long-term care users they need more personal care, more hours of care and more supervision, all of which are associated with greater strain on caregivers, and higher costs. Their needs for care start early in the disease course and evolve constantly over time, requiring advanced planning, monitoring and coordination. We need to value the unpaid contribution of family caregivers more, and reward paid caregivers better. We can build quality into our care systems, but to do so while containing costs and achieving equity of access for all will be a challenge."
Dr. Paul Zollinger-Read, chief medical officer, Bupa, who commissioned the report, said: "An aging population around the world means that improving dementia care and support is one of our generation's greatest healthcare challenges – a challenge we must tackle. We're calling on governments around the world to make dementia a national health priority by developing national dementia plans. National plans ensure that people living with dementia have a good quality of life and friends and family, who often take on the important role of a caregiver, are properly supported too."
Barry Peterson, Emmy Award-winning CBS correspondent and author of Jan's Story about his late wife's struggle with Alzheimer's, moderated the first discussion today in Washington, D.C., at the National Press Club.
About Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI)
ADI is the international federation of 79 Alzheimer associations around the world, in official relations with the World Health Organization. ADI's vision is an improved quality of life for people with dementia and their families throughout the world. ADI believes that the key to winning the fight against dementia lies in a unique combination of global solutions and local knowledge. As such, it works locally, by empowering Alzheimer associations to promote and offer care and support for people with dementia and their carers, while working globally to focus attention on dementia and campaign for policy change from governments. For more information, visit www.alz.co.uk.
About Home Instead Senior Care
Founded in 1994 in Omaha by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care network is the world's largest provider of nonmedical in-home care services for seniors, with more than 980 independently owned and operated franchises providing in excess of 45 million hours of care throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Switzerland, Germany, South Korea, Finland, Austria, Italy, Puerto Rico and the Netherlands.
Local Home Instead Senior Care franchise offices employ more than 65,000 CAREGivers℠ worldwide who provide basic support services – assistance with activities of daily living, personal care, medication reminders, meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands, incidental transportation and shopping – which enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. In addition, Home Instead CAREGivers are trained in the network's groundbreaking Alzheimer's Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education℠ Program to work with seniors who suffer from these conditions. This world class curriculum also is available free to family caregivers online or through local Home Instead Senior Care offices.
Bupa's purpose is longer, healthier, happier lives. A leading international healthcare group, we serve over 14 million customers in more than 190 countries. We offer personal and company-financed health insurance and medical subscription products, run hospitals, provide workplace health services, home healthcare, health assessments and chronic disease management services. We are also a major international provider of nursing and residential care for elderly people.
With no shareholders, we invest our profits to provide more and better healthcare and fulfill our purpose. Bupa employs more than 62,000 people, principally in the United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, Poland, New Zealand and the USA, as well as Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, India, Thailand, China and across Latin America. For more information, visit www.bupa.com
About King's College London
King's College London is one of the top 20 universities in the world (2013/14 QS World University Rankings), and was The Sunday Times' University of the Year 2010/11 and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King's has more than 25,000 students (of whom more than 10,000 are graduate students) from nearly 140 countries and more than 6,500 employees. King's is in the second phase of a £1 billion redevelopment program which is transforming its estate.
King's has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise for British universities, 23 departments were ranked in the top quartile of British universities; over half of our academic staff work in departments that are in the top 10 per cent in the UK in their field and can thus be classed as world leading. The College is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of nearly £525 million (year ending 31 July 2011).
SOURCE Home Instead Senior Care; Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI)