What is dementia and why it's a field worth studyingBy EasyUni Staff | Last modified 11 Nov 2017
Much of the increase will take place in low and middle-income countries.
Dementia also has a huge economic impact. According to the report, the total current estimated worldwide cost of dementia is US $818 billion, and it will become a trillion dollar disease by 2018. This means that if dementia care were a country, it would be the world’s 18th largest economy, more than the market values of companies such as Apple (US$ 742 billion), Google (US$ 368 billion) and Exxon (US$ 357 billion).
What is Dementia?
Before we go in any further, dementia is an umbrella term for degenerative diseases of the brain characterised by a gradual decline in the ability to think, memorize and remember to a point that it interferes with daily life. Alzheimer's disease accounts for more than half of dementia cases.
The symptoms of dementia can vary greatly, there are however main signs to consider dementia - mental core functions should be significantly impaired and these are:
Aside from Alzheimer's disease, dementia also includes Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease (a rare inherited disorder), Korsakoff's syndrome, fronto-temporal dementia, mild cognitive impairment, Crutzfeldt-Jakob disease and some types of multiple sclerosis.
Caring for a person with dementia
People with dementia will experience their mental abilities are declining, they often feel vulnerable and in need of reassurance and support. The people closest to them - including their family, friends and people they work with - need to do everything they can to help the person to retain their sense of identity and feelings of self-worth.
Facing stigma is often a primary concern of people living with dementia and their care partners. They are often being misunderstood because of the myths and misconceptions others have about the disease.
Improving the lives of people living with Dementia
The University of Bradford (UK) has been spearheading the research, teaching and learning for person-centred dementia care.
Due to its leadership and influencing policy and practice in the UK and internationally, Bradford received the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. The university received the award for its world-leading work to improve the lives of people living with dementia.
Bradford is one of only 21 institutions in this round to receive the prestigious accolade, which honours world-class excellence and achievement. It is the highest form of national recognition that UK higher education institutions can achieve.
Bradford’s work in dementia care has had outstanding impact, reaching a wide range of care settings in the UK and beyond, including working with care providers and national bodies on new approaches to developing a highly skilled workforce, and measuring the quality of care. The University has trained over 10,000 care staff across four continents and enabled adoption of person-centred approaches in policy and practice.
The University’s research focused on two key themes: helping people to live well with dementia, and improving the quality of care for people with dementia, both driven by the School of Dementia Studies.
Want to launch a career focusing on quality care for people with dementia? Check out University of Bradford.