Dementia cost ‘to top 1% of GDP’

Auguste Deter. Alois Alzheimer's patient in No...
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The costs associated with dementia will amount to more than 1% of the world’s gross domestic product this year at $604bn (£388bn), a report says. The World Alzheimer Report says this is more than the revenue of retail giant Wal-Mart or oil firm Exxon Mobil.The authors say dementia poses the most significant health and social crisis of the century as its global financial burden continues to escalate.  They want the World Health Organization to make dementia a world priority.

Campaigners say more investment in dementia care and research into new treatments is needed. Spending more money now would save nations more money in the future by decreasing the disease burden, they say.A large part of the problem is people living longer – as life expectancy goes up around the world there will be more people who will develop dementia.  

‘Substantial investments’ 

The number of people with dementia is expected to double by 2030, and more than triple by 2050.But experts say the costs of caring for people with dementia are likely to rise even faster than the prevalence, especially in the developing world, as more formal social care systems emerge and rising incomes lead to higher opportunity costs. Data from individual countries such as the UK suggests that dementia is already one of the costliest illnesses 

The article doesn’t say what costs. This probably includes the actual medical care for home care, medication, specialist treatments, hospitalizations, etc. But it could and/or should include lost productivity for caregivers, mistakes and errors caused by the illness, lost productivity for those with the onset of dementia but are unaware of it. Whatever is included in this calculation, it is too high. 

Vatican Bank ‘investigated over money-laundering’

Vatican City
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Via BBC

The head of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, is under investigation as part of a money-laundering inquiry, police sources say. 

Prosecutors also seized 23m euros ($30m; £19m) from the bank’s accounts with another smaller institution. 

The inquiry was launched after two suspicious transactions were reported to tax police in Rome. 

The Vatican said it was “perplexed and astonished”, and expressed full confidence in Mr Tedeschi. 

The Vatican Bank, known officially as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), was created during World War II to administer accounts held by religious orders, cardinals, bishops and priests. 

Unemployed Women Selling Wedding Rings

Via Huff Post:

There are thousands of ads on Craigslist for things like used appliances, furniture, and cars from people who need a little quick cash to get by, with the seller frequently revealing a glimpse of the problems necessitating the sale. For upfront desperation, few ads are more poignant than the ones for wedding or engagement rings from people in financial straits. When contacted by HuffPost, sellers typically said they posted their ads in an effort to take care of their children.

“It is a big sacrifice but what else am I suppose to do at this point?” emailed one woman whose ad said she was “beyond sad that I have to sell this but bills need to be paid somehow.” The woman was not interested in sharing her name.

“It is really the only thing I have that is worth anything and of course I do not want to sell it but tough times call for tough decisions,” she wrote. “My son is who I need to look out for and when you put it in perspective it is only a material item and although I still have emotional ties with it it really comes down to what is more important. We are losing our home and where are we suppose[d] to go? This ring is hopefully a little lifeline to get into a place so we can have a roof over our heads. This is why I am trying to sell my ring on craigslist and yes it breaks my heart but hearts mend right?”