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Alzheimer’s Day Charter plan to slow epidemic

World Alzheimer’s Day Charter provides plan to slow dementia epidemic

World Alzheimer’s Day: 21 September 2008

Alzheimer’s Disease International has marked World Alzheimer’s Day by releasing a Global Dementia Charter adopted by its 77 member organizations calling for immediate action to address the dementia epidemic or face a global public health and social care emergency.

Lucille Ogston, National Director of Alzheimers New Zealand, said the Global Charter presents an action plan that, if adopted by governments could significantly reduce the impact of the dementia epidemic worldwide.

Every year, 4.6 million new cases of dementia are reported worldwide. The global figure for people with dementia stands at 30 million and this is expected to increase to 100 million by 2050 unless there is a medical breakthrough. Every seven seconds somewhere in the world, there is a new case of dementia, says Ogston.

The action plan aims to increase respect for people with dementia as members of the community and argues for appropriate access to health and social care. The plan recognizes that the role of family carers is key and that families must be supported.

“This year on World Alzheimer’s Day we want to recognise the true cost of carers. For every person with dementia there is at least one carer and often more”, says Lucille Ogston “Supporting the carer and family is an essential part of meeting the challenge of dementia.”

In New Zealand there are 40,746 people with dementia and with an estimated 12,333 new cases of dementia being diagnosed each year, there will be 74,821 people with dementia in 2026.

Alzheimers New Zealand’s mission is Making life better for all people affected by dementia, and Lucille Ogston states that “we would urge all those in a position to do so – the government, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Social Development, health professionals, researchers and the community – to work together now to ensure a fair go for all people affected by dementia”.


Notes to editors:

 A copy of the Global Alzheimers Disease Charter is attached to this press release.

 Alzheimers New Zealand is the national body providing information, advocacy and education for people with dementia their families and carers. Log on to for more information on services and support.

 Dementia is the term used to describe the symptoms of a large group of illnesses which cause a progressive decline in the functioning of a person’s brain. The effects of dementia include loss of memory, intellect, rationality, social skills and what would be considered normal emotional reactions. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimers Disease, which accounts for 50-70% of all cases.

 In New Zealand, there are currently 40,746 people with dementia and with an estimated 12,333 new cases of dementia being diagnosed each year, there will be 74,821 people with dementia by 2026.

For further information:

The Economic Impact Report of Dementia in New Zealand (2008)
The Executive Summary of Economic Report
The 2008 Dementia Manifesto
Dementia Factsheet

all available on



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