Risk of disease increases with age: the number of Alzheimer’s patients has doubled within 20 years

In 2020, 19,356 people required hospital treatment; 58.5 percent of them were women. This means that the number of inpatient treatments has more than doubled within 20 years (plus 138.5 percent). In 2000 there were 8,116 treatments.

The risk of developing the disease increases with age: around 95 percent of the patients affected in 2020 were 65 years and older. The age group of the very old from 80 years of age was treated particularly frequently in hospital for Alzheimer’s: more than half (57.8 percent) of all those affected belonged to this age group.

In 2020, a total of 9,450 people died of Alzheimer’s in Germany – more than ever before. The number of deaths was more than double (up 108.4 percent) the 4,535 in 2000.

From the point of view of the German Foundation for Patient Protection, hospitals are a dangerous place for patients with dementia. Unfamiliar surroundings, a lack of reference persons, a lack of communication and the hustle and bustle promoted their fears, said board member Eugen Brysch. In addition, diagnostics and therapy represent a great burden. “A stay in hospital often means that those affected suffer more from disorientation and restlessness.”

Brysch called on the hospitals, the health insurance companies and the legislature to adapt to a growing number of dementia patients. Every clinic must allow an accompanying person to be accommodated. In addition, there is a need for special dementia attendants who monitor and look after such patients on all wards. “That would also relieve nursing staff and doctors.”

According to the statisticians, the increase in hospital treatments and deaths with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is at least partly due to an aging population. The number of people over the age of 65 in Germany increased by around 33 percent to 18.3 million between 2000 and 2020. The age group from 80 years even grew by more than 90 percent to 5.9 million. (KNA)

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