What does dementia cost?

September 12, 2014

by Martin Knapp

What is the cost of dementia? This is the question that a bunch of us at PSSRU at LSE recently addressed, finding that the answer was very high – more than £26 billion each year in the UK – and with some intriguing results when you look at the detail.

The Alzheimer’s Society funded our study, and launched our findings at one of their conferences the other day. The Society also funded work led by Professor Martin Prince at King’s College London that generated new estimates of the prevalence of dementia. In both cases – for costs and for prevalence – we included a comparison with numbers we had calculated seven years ago in the original Dementia UK report.

Big numbers

Our £26 billion calculation for the total cost of dementia in the UK is perhaps more easily comprehended by re-couching it as an average: for each of the approximately 816,000 people living with dementia in the UK today the cost is £32,250 each year. Of course, for some people the cost will be much less, but for others – especially those with more severe symptoms – it will be considerably more. A summary of our findings can be found in the report published on the day of the conference, and the fuller details will be available quite soon.

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