Academic Master

Health Care, Medical

The Economic Impact Of The Deadly Disease Of Dementia

Methodology (1000 words)

A qualitative research method has been adopted to prepare this report. Qualitative research works on the idea of the development of a theory and then proving it in light of previous literature and current reports from the field. Moreover, no statistical data sets are formed for this method of research; neither are the hypotheses provided nor statistically tested for the purpose of carrying out this research. Furthermore, the data sources of qualitative research comprise reports, journal articles, research papers, relevant books, interviews, and newspaper articles from the relevant areas. Above all, comprehensive and extensive online research is carried out in this regard.

Seeing this implication of the qualitative research, this report has developed the theory that dementia is a deadly disease, and Alzheimer’s is the most commonly found cause of dementia in the United Kingdom. Moreover, it has developed a link between the prevalence of the disease among the ethnic communities and minorities of the country and the level of poverty. The report has also discussed the economic impact of the deadly disease of dementia on the country and, thus, has provided the reason for the All Party Parliamentary Group to get alarmed and take suitable, relevant actions. In the end, in light of all the findings and advocating all the reasons, the report has provided the possible implications of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020.

Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia in the world and the United Kingdom. Reports from the Alzheimer’s Society were used to find statistics on this finding. It is the leading dementia support and research charity in the United Kingdom (Alzheimer’s Society official website). It covers the population suffering from dementia in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland (Alzheimer’s Society official website). The charity has progressively been producing reports on the status of dementia in the country (Alzheimer’s Society’s official website). Moreover, the reports and findings of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) have also been used to support the evidence in this regard. It provides services with regard to guidance, advice, quality standards, and information in the sectors of health, public health, and social care (NICE official website). Thus, reliance has been placed on these reports to support the arguments for the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020 (Gov.UK Policy Paper, 2015).

Research papers and journal articles have been used in this report for the purpose of supporting the arguments for the symptoms and the importance of diagnosis in the context of dementia. The data was searched using a variety of keywords such as the definition of dementia, what is dementia?, a symptom of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, Alzheimer’s disease statistics in the United Kingdom, Alzheimer’s disease, and the ethnic communities of the United Kingdom, why is dementia deadly?, dementia and poverty in the United Kingdom, the economic impact of dementia on the United Kingdom, what is the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020?, what are the implications of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020?, is the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020 helpful for the United Kingdom? And others.

From the extensive online research, several journal articles and research papers on the relevant topic were found. For instance, Jenny Mackenzie wrote a research paper in 2006 on the negotiation of Stigma in the country by East European and South Asian family carers. It is an important piece of work because it demonstrates findings from a three-year project for developing and delivering culturally appropriate group materials for the family carers of the ethnic communities in the country (Mackenzie, 2006).

Results (1500 words)

It has been found that Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia in the world today. As per the research, it affects the human brain and leads to dementia (Alzheimer’s Society, 2016). This disease affects people’s abilities in various ways, including the mental capacity of an individual (Alzheimer’s Society, 2016). Talking about the symptoms of the disease, the most common effect of dementia is the loss of memory (Alzheimer’s Society, 2016). Memory loss is one of the early signs of the disease. Moreover, it disturbs the ability of a person to reason. It also aggravates the signs of depression and aggressive behaviors (Alzheimer’s Society, 2016).

Moreover, dementia can also affect a person’s ability to communicate effectively. The primary reason behind the development of this disability in an individual lies in the fact that dementia creates a loss of contact with external reality (psychosis) in a person, and he can become incontinent. For this reason, certain people with dementia can become delusional and begin to experience hallucinations. Some of them also develop eating problems, which can lead to weight loss and unnecessary sickness for prolonged periods. The deadly disease of dementia can also affect the mobility of an individual. Thus, dementia can cause a person to develop other health conditions. For instance, the Alzheimer’s Society reported that seventy-two percent of the people suffering from dementia can develop hearing problems, heart disease, and physical disability (Alzheimer’s Society 2014). These results have been affirmed by a previous report by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence in 2006. According to the report, people with dementia are more likely to develop learning disabilities due to mental health problems (NICE, 2006).

As per an estimate, more than 520,000 people in the United Kingdom are struggling with this disease, whereas 850,000 people are suffering from dementia (Alzheimer’s Society, 2016). The study also found that more than 42,000 people under the age of sixty-five years are fighting dementia in the country (Alzheimer’s Society, 2016). Apart from these estimates, Alzheimer’s is the most feared disease in the class of dementia as well. According to the latest report of the Alzheimer’s Society, half of the population fears Alzheimer’s, whereas approximately sixty-two percent of the population of the country believes that dementia means that their life is over. Moreover, seventeen percent of the people who had dementia were from vascular dementia (Alzheimer’s Society, 2016). Furthermore, ten percent of the population had been diagnosed with mixed dementia, whereas four percent were diagnosed with Lewy-body dementia (Alzheimer’s Society, 2016). However, only two percent of the population in the United Kingdom suffers from Frontotemporal dementia or Parkinson’s dementia (Alzheimer’s Society, 2016). All of the remaining types of dementia were placed in one category, and approximately three percent of the people were diagnosed within this category (Alzheimer’s Society, 2016).

Two years ago, at least one in every fourteen citizens aged sixty-five years and more was affected by dementia (Alzheimer’s Society, 2014). As per the report by the Alzheimer’s Society, this ratio equates to more than seven percent of the country’s population (Alzheimer’s Society, 2014). Moreover, the symptoms of dementia are not only diagnosed in people above the age of sixty-five years but also in young people. As per a report, in 2013, there were approximately 40,000 people under that age living their everyday lives with dementia in the United Kingdom (Alzheimer’s Society, 2014).

The United Kingdom has a prolonged history of dementia along with an ethnic society. The statistics in this regard have been reported over the years. For instance, according to the report on dementia carried out by the Alzheimer’s Society in 2012, not less than twenty-five thousand people suffering from dementia in 2011 were from the ethnic background; it included minorities in the form of black and Asian communities living in England and Wales (Alzheimer’s Society, 2012). However, by 2026, the number is expected to increase by double, i.e., up to fifty-thousand, and by the year 2051, the number will increase to approximately one-hundred and seventy-two thousand people; these statistics are related to the communities of minorities in the United Kingdom only. Thus, these statistics show that the number of ethnic people suffering from dementia in the country will increase by seven-fold in less than forty years. The result is devastating because this statistic indicates an increase of double the amount of ethnic people as compared to the people not belonging to minorities of the country.

Such results are an alarming sign for the All Party Parliamentary Group on dementia; they must find out the reasons behind such a rapid progression of the diseases among minorities in this region. From the literature, it has been found that the Asian and African ethnicities of the country are less likely to seek support when diagnosed with dementia (Mackenzie, 2006). Moreover, most of them are not likely to receive a diagnosis in the first place. The most prominent reason in this regard is poverty. Therefore, dementia has a double-fold effect on the ethnic communities of the United Kingdom. Firstly, they are unable to receive a diagnosis due to poverty, and if they receive a diagnosis, they are unlikely to address the disease due to a lack of resources. Thus, they are unable to tackle the disease due to poverty. Secondly, if they are diagnosed with dementia, the cost of bearing the consequences of the illness is likely to affect the economy of the country. Thus, dementia gives rise to poverty in the United Kingdom as well.

In addition to the fact that dementia is a dangerous disease that has the capability of making lives difficult without any prominent physical impairment, it is costly as well. According to the latest report of the Alzheimer’s Society, dementia is one of the biggest causes of leading the UK economy into crisis (Alzheimer’s Society, 2016). As per the estimate, it currently costs more than seventeen billion Euros a year to the economy (Alzheimer’s Society, 2016). This figure is likely to increase up to fifty billion Euros in a few coming years (Alzheimer’s Society, 2016). In 2014, Beam and Davidson conducted a study. They found a figure of 0.61 percent for each penny in the context of dementia between 2013 and 2014. The figure was estimated by analyzing more than three thousand cases in Great Britain in that particular period (Beam & Davidson, 2014). The study also found that in any case, when the figures were specifically isolated down to each geographic official, the North of Britain had the most noteworthy measurement of 0.68 for each penny of individuals who were determined to have dementia between the times of 2013 and 2014 (Beam & Davidson, 2014). On the other hand, the south of Britain was the second most noteworthy, with a figure of 0.67 for each penny and a normal figure of 0.62 for every penny in the Midlands and East of Britain (Beam & Davidson, 2014). Nevertheless, London had the lowest figure of 0.39 for each penny of individuals determined to have dementia (Beam and Davidson, 2014).

Thematic Discussion (1500 words)

The thematic approach has been adopted for the purpose of preparing this report on the implications of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020 in the country (Gov.UK Policy Paper, 2015).

The Definition: First of all, the disease is defined and explained along with its symptoms and possible causes. Online data resources such as official reports, journal articles, and research papers have been used in this regard. The most comprehensive definition of the disease has been found on the World Health Organization website. According to the website, dementia is a syndrome that is caused by a chronic or progressive nature. It weakens a person’s cognitive function. Moreover, there is a range of diseases, injuries, and factors that can affect the brain, such as loss of memory and difficulties with thinking (WHO, 2017).

The Symptoms: To find statistics on the finding that Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia in the world and the United Kingdom, the reports of Alzheimer’s Society have been used. It is the leading dementia support and research charity in the United Kingdom (Alzheimer’s Society official website). It covers the population suffering from dementia in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland (Alzheimer’s Society official website). The charity has progressively been producing reports on the status of dementia in the country (Alzheimer’s Society’s official website). The reports from the same source have also been used to explain and explore the symptoms of the deadly disease among the country’s population. According to the 2016 report of the Alzheimer’s Society, dementia affects the human brain and leads to dementia. It also affects people’s abilities in various ways, including the mental capacity of an individual (Alzheimer’s Society, 2016).

The most common effect of dementia is the loss of memory (Alzheimer’s Society, 2016). Moreover, it disturbs the ability of a person to reason. It also aggravates the signs of depression and aggressive behaviors (Alzheimer’s Society, 2016). Dementia can also affect a person’s ability to communicate effectively. Certain people with dementia can become delusional and begin to experience hallucinations. Some of them also develop eating problems, which can lead to weight loss and unnecessary sickness for prolonged periods. It can also affect the mobility of an individual. According to the 2014 report by the charity, people suffering from dementia can also develop hearing problems, heart disease, and physical disability (Alzheimer’s Society, 2014). These results have been affirmed by a previous report by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence in 2006. According to the report, people with dementia are more likely to develop learning disabilities due to mental health problems (NICE, 2006).

The Involvement of the Ethnic Community: The United Kingdom has a population of ethnic communities. These minorities are at high risk of suffering from one or another form of dementia. To support this argument, the official 2012 report of the Alzheimer’s Society has been used. According to the report, twenty-five thousand people suffering from dementia in 2011 were from ethnic backgrounds; it included minorities in the form of black and Asian communities living in England and Wales (Alzheimer’s Society, 2012). It has also been found that by 2026, the number is expected to increase by double, i.e., up to fifty-thousand, and by the year 2051, the number will increase up to approximately one-hundred and seventy-two thousand people. Thus, these statistics show that the number of ethnic people suffering from dementia in the country will increase by seven-fold in less than forty years. The result is devastating because this statistic indicates an increase in the double amount of ethnic people as compared to the people not belonging to minorities of the country.

Economic Impact: Journal articles and research papers have been used to explore the extent of the economic impact of the deadly disease dementia on the people of the United Kingdom. From the literature, it has been found that the Asian and African ethnicities of the country are less likely to seek support when diagnosed with dementia (Mackenzie, 2006). Moreover, most of them are not likely to receive a diagnosis in the first place. Dementia has a double-fold effect among the ethnic communities of the United Kingdom. Firstly, they are unable to receive a diagnosis due to poverty, and if they receive a diagnosis, they are unlikely to address the disease due to a lack of resources. Thus, they are unable to tackle the disease due to poverty. Secondly, if they are diagnosed with dementia, the cost of bearing the consequences of the illness is likely to affect the economy of the country. Thus, dementia gives rise to poverty in the United Kingdom as well. Overall, dementia puts a heavy cost on the economy of the United Kingdom. It has been found that, as per an estimate, it currently costs more than seventeen billion Euros a year to the economy (Alzheimer’s Society, 2016). This figure is likely to increase up to fifty billion Euros in a few coming years (Alzheimer’s Society, 2016).

References

  1. Mackenzie, J. (2006). Stigma and dementia: East European and South Asian family carers negotiating stigma in the UK. Dementia5(2), 233-247.
  2. NICE official Website. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/about (Accessed: 29th March 2018).
  3. NICE. Dementia: Supporting People with Dementia and their Carers in Health and Social Care. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg42 (Accessed: 29th March 2018).

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