World Health Organization releases first dementia guidelines

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LANSING, MI. (WILX) 'An emerging public health crisis in Michigan.'

That's what Governor Gretchen Whitmer is calling Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of dementia.

According to the state, an estimated 190,000 people living in Michigan older than age 65 have Alzheimer's. That number is expected to jump to 220,000 in just six years.

The Michigan Dementia Coalition will release a new report. 'The Road map for Creating a Dementia-Capable Michigan' focuses on the impact of dementia in the state.

It outlines steps to increase the quality of life for those living with Alzheimer's in Michigan.

The coalition is made up of dozens of experts who represent more than 60 organizations. The plan will be released as part of Older Michigianian's Day.

Hundreds of senior citizens will rally on the Capitol lawn to raise awareness on issues that matter to them.

For the first time ever the World Health Organization has published guidelines on the prevention and management of dementia.

Physical activity is at the top of the list.

They say it's the number on recommendation for preventing cognitive decline. To reduce the risk of Dementia, they say people should not use tobacco. They also recommend drinking less alcohol, maintaining healthy blood pressure and eating a balanced diet.

Dementia affects roughly 50 million people worldwide. Nearly 10 million new cases are diagnosed each year.

The World Health Organization says that number is set to triple y 2050. The cost of caring for people with dementia is expected to sky rocket in the next two decades.

"But also for families and care givers of people with dementia and they also cause, substantial cost to society in terms of economic cost. By 2030, it is predicted that the cost of looking after people with dementia will rise to 2 trillion US dollars annually," said a representative for the World Health Organization.

WHO also warns against taking dietary supplements like Vitamins B and E because they say they won't help with dementia.

Their guidelines also recommend a Mediterranean diet. So plant -based cooking, eating less meat and using olive oil can help.

According to the state, more than half a million Michigan family members are caring for a loved one with dementia.

The cost for Medicaid alone for people with dementia older than age 65 was nearly $1.5 billion in 2018.