Dementia cases will rocket in years to come as medical care in developing countries improves and people subsequently live longer, making a nurse’s ability to spot the condition increasingly more important.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed that the number of people suffering from dementia in the world will double to 65.7 million by 2030, while as many as 115.4 million cases could be diagnosed by 2050.
WHO’s mental health division head Dr Shekhar Saxena said: “The numbers are already large and are increasing rather rapidly.”
The WHO has expressed concern about the growing social and financial burden of soaring dementia cases as most patients are cared for by their family, who predominantly meet the collective annual cost of £380bn, which is set to increase as more and more cases are diagnosed.
WHO director-general Margaret Chan said: “The catastrophic cost drives millions of households below the poverty line.”
She went on to add that the importance of healthcare professionals being able to spot the condition is vital as a lack of proper diagnosis is one of the obstacles to better treatment, even in developed nations where half of dementia cases are overlooked until the patient has had the condition for quite some time.