Some 390,000 persons in Belgium will be living with dementia by 2050, Le Soir newspaper reported on Friday, noting that this was more than double the current number. About 190,000 people in Belgium suffer from dementia, including 130,000 who have Alzheimer’s disease. Things will worsen over the next few years and decades, warns Wilfried Nys, founding president of the Foundation for Research against Alzheimer’s, which deplores a lack of resources to fight the disease.
The projected increase in dementia is linked to the ageing of the population. The number of people over the age of 80 years continues to rise, which could become problematic, especially where patient care is concerned. Most of these patients prefer to remain at home, which places a serious burden on their families.
Wilfried Nys also deplores a lack of financing and even of vision. “In countries like France, the United States or Great Britain, there is real investment in research,” he says. “Over here, Wallonia is envisioning the creation of a plan to fight against Alzheimer’s. In Flanders, Jo Vandeurzen, the Flemish Minister of Well-Being, recently presented his plan. That’s all well and good. When I asked him who was going to finance it, he said he did not have the subsidies to do so.”