With an ageing population in Europe, cognitive impairments have become a major social and health issue. According to the World Alzheimer Report (WHO) 2014, dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, remains one of the biggest global public health challenges our generation is facing. The number of people living with dementia worldwide in 2015 was estimated in 46.8 million. It is expected to reach 131.5 million in 2050. These figures underline a situation which presents a certain level of criticality that needs to be managed. Moreover, such situation could be further deteriorated in individuals suffering of both cognitive impairments and Parkinson’s.
People with dementia, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease claim for their independence, despite they might face major difficulties in their daily lives, especially to take care of themselves. Caregivers also need to be supported in their daily care routines. As the impairment increases, families need to dedicate much more time, mental and physical effort to their relatives.
This situation poses a challenge for public authorities, policy makers and businesses, especially as it comes at a time of increasing pressure on public budgets and growing demands from older people for care products and services. If this demographic transition is not tackled head-on, it will raise considerable concerns for the financial sustainability of health and care systems.