I have been working with Dundee-based technology start-up charity The Memory Box Network since April. My professional background is in learning rather than healthcare but am really loving working in this new context. Over the last six months I have become increasingly convinced that digital memory boxes for reminiscence therapy (RT) have the potential to make a huge difference to those affected by dementia. The MBN was recently awarded a further £160k from Nominet Trust to take the concept to the next level – so watch this space!
The statistics around dementia are absolutely frightening but will not surprise anyone who has experienced the trauma of a family member or friend losing their short-term memory and becoming increasingly confused.
So what do we know about dementia?
- There are estimated to be 820k people affected by dementia in the UK
- This is predicted to rise to 1m by 2021 and 1.7m by 2050
- Dementia costs the UK £23b per annum rising to £27b by 2018
- Less than half those with dementia in the England, Wales and Northern Ireland receive a diagnosis (44%) [still looking for the stats for Scotland]
- 60k deaths per annum in the UK are directly attributable to dementia
- 80% of people in care homes have dementia or severe memory problems
- It is estimated that 2.5% of people living with dementia are under 65
- 61% of those affected in the UK are female (in general females live longer and the disease has a higher prevalence in the over 65 age group)
- There are 670k primary care givers for people affected by dementia in the UK
- Worldwide it is estimated 35.6m people are living with dementia. This is set to double every 20 years; rising to 115.4m in 2050. 7.7m will develop dementia worldwide every year
- There are over 100 different types of dementia, which affect 1 in 14 over 65, rising to 1 in 6 over 80
- Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, affecting 496k in UK