Every three seconds someone develops dementia. It’s stats like that that help illustrate the prevalence of this disease. Yet, we’re not doing enough to prepare.

That’s the findings of a new report by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI). The report, Plan to impact: Progress towards the targets of the global action plan on dementia says countries need to do more to respond to dementia, including implementing national plans and devoting funding to tackle the disease.

New Zealand is among those that need to up its game.

Alzheimer’s New Zealand has expressed its disappointment that the 2018 Budget does not include enhanced specialist dementia services for the 62,000 Kiwis who have dementia, a number that is expected to triple by 2050.

In an article published on its website, the organisation urges the New Zealand government to invest in implementing the New Zealand Framework for Dementia Care, which provides a blueprint for more and better services for people living with dementia.

“We are very disappointed with the lack of progress in implementing the Framework in the past 5 years,” it states.

New Zealanders living with dementia rely on a variety of community and home-based services provided by Alzheimers organisations around the country, but the government only funds, on average, about 30 percent of the costs of providing those services.

“Dementia is already one of this country’s greatest healthcare challenges and its impact is only going to get worse. It’s imperative the government acts quickly and decisively to invest in the specialist services needed urgently by people affected by dementia.

“New Zealand simply cannot afford to do nothing about this issue and the sooner government commits to dealing with this issue the better it will be, both for the four out of five Kiwis affected by dementia and for Vote Health.”


  1. Thank you for publishing this. There is now an even newer report from the OECD reinforcing this message – “Care Needed: Improving the lives of people with dementia”, OECD Health Policy Studies, Paris (2018).


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