[an error occurred while processing this directive] George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight | WHO: Dementia Is On The Rise Around The World


Sundays 8pm to 11pm on Radio 2

New Episodes at CBC Music

New Episodes at CBC Music

Need more Strombo Show? Head over to our page on CBC Music for new episodes, playlists and video extras.

CBC Music Past Shows



WHO: Dementia Is On The Rise Around The World
April 11, 2012
submit to reddit

Yesterday we posted a video of Henry, a senior suffering from dementia who regained some mental clarity by listening to music. Henry is not alone: dementia afflicts millions of people around the world, and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), it will soon be a problem for millions more. In a new report, 'Dementia: a public health priority', the WHO estimates that the number of dementia cases worldwide will triple by 2050, from the 35.6 million people living with the condition today to an estimated 115.4 million.

The condition is on the rise, the WHO says, because people are living longer due to advances in medical care, particularly in poorer countries. Dementia tends to afflict older people, and with more of the population living deeper into old age, the condition will become much more common.

Dementia is a brain illness that affects memory, leaving sufferers unable to care for themselves. About 70 percent of cases are linked to Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's and dementia have become major health issues in well-off countries over the last few decades. Meanwhile in low- and middle-income countries, where 58% of sufferers live, there is not as much infrastructure in place to help care for dementia patients. The populations of those countries are also expected to become far more susceptible to dementia in the coming years, and this will lead to soaring costs and heavy demands on the healthcare system.

Most dementia care is provided by informal caregivers: spouses, adult children, family members and friends. More often than not, those caregivers are themselves prone to mental disorders like depression and anxiety, and may suffer economically as they are forced to cut back on work or stop altogether in order to care for a loved-one afflicted with dementia.

In Canada, dementia is expected to affect 1.1 million people in the next 25 years, according to the Alzheimer's Society of Canada. And many Canadians aren't getting treatment as early as they should: a recent survey conducted by the Alzheimer's Society found that 44 percent of dementia sufferers in this country lived for a year or more with their symptoms before seeing a doctor.

Related stories on Strombo.com:

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Music Awakens A Senior's Memories


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.