A new report on the economic impact of dementia shows new models of care are needed urgently if the government wants to reduce the significant human and financial cost of the condition.
The latest Economic Impact of Dementia report, commissioned by Alzheimers New Zealand, suggests there will be around 170,000 Kiwis living with dementia by 2050, up nearly 300 percent on current figures.
But the costs of supporting those people, which could reach nearly $5 billion by 2050, would be greatly reduced given the right models of care, says Alzheimers New Zealand chief executive, Catherine Hall.
The new models of care include support that enables people to stay well and live independently for longer in their own homes, rather than entering residential care sooner than they otherwise might.
“The blueprint for these models of care already exists in the government’s NZ Framework for Dementia Care that was written four years ago,” Ms Hall said.
“Implementing these models of care would have significant human and financial advantages and could achieve cost benefit ratios of 6.6 times the level of investment needed.”
Dementia is one of New Zealand’s biggest healthcare challenges and it will have major personal, societal and fiscal impacts in the years ahead.
Alzheimers New Zealand’s report estimates there has been a 29 percent increase in numbers of people with dementia in five years – from nearly 50,000 in 2011 to over 60,000 in 2016.
Dementia cases in New Zealand will triple over the next 30 years.
The report shows costs are also increasing - from almost $1 billion in 2011 to $1.7 billion in just the last five years. Those costs are estimated to reach $2 billion around 2020 and rocket to over $4.6 billion by 2050.
“Steps must be taken now to address this issue, to plan for the challenges that are coming and to put in place the structures and processes that will be necessary. We urge the government to implement the Framework as soon as possible,” Ms Hall said.
This is the third economic impact report commissioned by Alzheimers New Zealand. It was written by Deloitte.
The Alzheimers New Zealand economic impact reports are the primary information source on the size and scale of the dementia challenge in New Zealand. They help to inform decision-making around dementia policy.
For more information, contact Daniel Paul (021) 400-993
Click here for a full copy of the report
Click here for a summary of the report
Click here for the speech from our Chair, Dr Ngaire Dixon
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