The results of GUS (CSO,Central Statistical Office) research conducted on the development of Polish population indicate that significant health and demographic problem is the ageing of our population. European statistics show that by 2025 more than 20% of Europeans will be over 65 years old, and a progressive lengthening of the average life expectancy of people in Europe will contribute to a significant increase in the number of people above 80 years old. The problem of an ageing population also affects Poland – according to the CSO data, the proportion of people aged over 65 in the total population will grow to over 23% in 2035 compared to less than 14% in 2011, which is almost double the number of people in this age group.
Another problem concerns persons suffering from various forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Around the world, a systematic increase in the number of such persons is noticed, and the risk of dementia increases rapidly with age (up to approx. 25-30% of people aged 85 years and older). The data from the Polish Association of the Alzheimer’s show that the number of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (the most common cause of dementia of people over 65 years old) is estimated at about 250 thousands, and these statistics will increase rapidly due to a rapidly ageing population in Poland. The problem is not only insufficiently rapid diagnosis, often resulting from the lack of public awareness, allowing for a timely response, but also quick implementation of therapy, which prolongs independent functioning of the patient and reduces the number of people with the most severe stages of dementia. It is also important here to properly prepare infrastructure of long-term care facilities, as well as the availability of staff prepared to work with people suffering from dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
It is estimated that in the region of Podkarpackie, about a dozen thousand people (10-12 thousand) suffer from dementia associated with Alzheimer’s disease, while about 10% are supported by a good medical care. It does not result only from a limited number of places in the region in which you one offer appropriate care for such people, but also with limited public awareness on issues related to dementia (including early diagnosis), as well as primary care physicians, who often are not able to timely diagnose dementia, arranging for the necessary tests.
Alzheimer’s disease, as an example of dementia, most often affects people over the age of 65, and taking into account the demographic projections showing the ageing of the population, we should not ignore dementia syndromes. According to CSO, at the end of 2011, Podkarpackie region has a population of over 402 thousand of people over 60 years old (which represents almost 19% of the population of the region). Since 2005, the number of people aged over 60 in the region has increased by nearly 17% (in 2005 the proportion of people in this age group in the general number of population of Podkarpacie was 16.5%). The projection for the region are also not positive and match the national and European trends (ageing population, lengthening the duration of life, increasing share of the population over the age of 60/65, etc.).
Polish Alzheimer’s Association estimates that nearly 80% of patients with Alzheimer’s disease stay at home, under the care of family, due to the lack of places in specialised care facilities. Therefore , it is necessary to both create additional facilities, as well as supporting those institutions that emphasize the care and treatment of people with dementia and assistance in making their special effort in preparing the infrastructure and providing well qualified staff.
The need for the project entitled “Expansion, reconstruction of the pavilion No. 10 ZOL for the elderly and chronically ill patients in Górno along with its infrastructure” is thus determined by demographic and health reasons.