ONE of the biggest social and economic impacts of increased longevity will be huge rises in cases of dementia.
The NHS predicts that the number of people aged 75 or over with the condition will have doubled in North Yorkshire by 2030.
There are no projections for how much this will cost, but estimates of current spending are staggering.
The Alzheimer’s Society believes there are around 11,781 people with dementia in the area covered by North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust, and puts the estimated cost of caring for them at £340m a year.
It believes the cost of dementia to the UK is £23bn, which would be £8bn higher if were not for the army of relatives who care for loved ones.
Dementia is not a natural part of growing old but is caused by diseases of the brain, most commonly Alzheimer’s. It is thought that one in three people aged over 65 will develop the condition.
Louise Morgan, Alzheimer’s Society’s support services manager for Scarborough and Ryedale, said: “An ageing population and people living longer, due to advances in medicine and technology, has meant that the number of people with dementia is increasing, so it is vital that society is in a position to be able to support people affected by dementia, whether they are living in their own homes, in care homes or are in hospital.
“Good quality care, an early diagnosis and access to timely information and advice are all aspects that can support someone to live well with dementia.
“We work with organisations throughout Scarborough and Ryedale to achieve this, but with the number of people affected by dementia increasing, it’s as important as ever that we each play a part to support those affected. Many people with dementia tell us that they want to remain living at home for as long as possible, and communities can play a significant role in combating isolation and ensuring that people with dementia can continue to take active roles.”