People in developed countries are living longer than ever before. By 2019, the expectation of life for women and men are 88.1 years and 82.3 years respectively. The proportion of elderly aged 65 and over will be increase from 18.4% in 2019 to 33.3% in 2039.
The majority of people with dementia are over 60 years old. The prevalence of dementia rises as people age. The number of people with dementia will continue to rise with increase in the life expectancy of people in Hong Kong.
Although the prevalence is similar between men and women, the prevalence is higher among women aged 70 or above, compared to men. As most elderly people prefer to live by themselves in their own home instead of moving to live with their children or in residential institutions, this difference can solve the caregiving problem in dementia to some degree as the wife of a married man can already provide enough support most of the time. However, females who show symptoms later in life may need support from an adult children or society. This should to be addressed by health care policies, welfare policies and development of elderly services, as well as by family members.
Hospital Authority. (2017) Dementia.
Census and Statistics Department. (2020) Hong Kong Population Projections.