Bioethics Blogs

Disentangling Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Aging

Katie Aubrecht shares her thoughts on Alzheimer’s, dementia, and aging as these intersect with The Alzheimer Conundrum: Entanglements of Dementia and Aging.

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The World Health Organization and Alzheimer Disease International published Dementia: A Public Health Priority (2012) that highlights the global prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The report projects that the number of people living with dementia worldwide will triple by the year 2050. It also calls on governments to recognize dementia as “an increasing threat to global health” – a threat that requires a global response. As well, the report explains why dementia is such a problem – because it is a burden that will only get worse over time. Who is dementia a threat to? And, who is it a burden for? The answer seems to be “everyone”: individuals living with dementia, their families, friends and communities, entire countries, and even the world.

Two years before this report was published, the Alzheimer Society of Canada published Rising Tide: The Impact of Dementia on Canadian Society. This report called on Canadians to challenge governments to take action and redirect investments to where they could have the greatest impact. To this day, there is no national dementia care strategy in Canada. Meanwhile, dementia care remains an issue of importance to Canadians and health researchers, policy makers, and practitioners. This was evident in the focus on dementia at the 2015 Canadian Academy of Health Sciences forum, The Rising Tide of Dementia in Canada: Facing the Critical Challenge by 2025. Meanwhile, in June 2015 Nova Scotia introduced a dementia care strategy, Towards Understanding.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.