About dementia

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Dementia numbers in Canada

Prevalence: number of cases in a given year

  • In 2011, 747,000 Canadians were living with cognitive impairment, including dementia - that's 14.9 per cent of Canadians 65 and older.1
  • By 2031, if nothing changes in Canada, this figure will increase to 1.4 million.1

Economic impact

  • Today, the combined direct (medical) and indirect (lost earnings) costs of dementia total $33 billion per year.1 
  • If nothing changes, this number will climb to $293 billion a year by 2040.1

Impact of care

Caregiving is a critical issue for people living with dementia and for Canadians in general.

  • One in five Canadians aged 45 and older provides some form of care to seniors living with long-term health problems.3
  • A quarter of all family caregivers are seniors themselves; a third of them (more than 200,000) are older than 75.3
  • In 2011, family caregivers spent in excess of 444 million unpaid hours looking after someone with cognitive impairment, including dementia.1
  • This figure represents $11 billion in lost income and 227,760 full-time equivalent employees in the workforce.1
  • By 2040, family caregivers will spend a staggering 1.2 billion unpaid hours per year.1
  • The physical and psychological toll on family caregivers is considerable; up to 75 per cent will develop psychological illnesses; 15 to 32 per cent experience depression.4

Global impact of dementia

  • As of 2010, more than 35.6 million people worldwide are living with dementia, or more than the total population of Canada.4
  • The global prevalence of dementia stands to double every 20 years, to 65.7 million in 2030, and 115.4 million in 2050.4
  • Total health-care costs for people with dementia amount to more than 1 per cent of the global gross domestic product (GDP), or US$604 billion in 2010. 4

It's time to act

In 2011, the first wave of the baby boomers turned 65.

  • Between 2 per cent and 10 per cent of all cases of dementia start before the age of 65.4
  • The risk for dementia doubles every five years after age 65.4

1 A new way of looking at the impact of dementia in Canada. Alzheimer Society, 2012
2 Baby Boomer Survey: Alzheimer's disease… it's more than you think. (2010). Alzheimer Society of Canada
3 Eldercare: What We Know Today. (2008). Statistics Canada
4 World Alzheimer Report 2012, A public health priority. (2012). World Health Organization (WHO)

Last Updated: 10/03/14
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