Absenteeism due to Dementia and its Growing Economic Consequences in Slovenia in the Period 2015-2019
Dementia has been the subject of numerous medical and anthropological studies for more than two decades. This serious neurodegenerative disease that mainly affects the elderly can occur also in people who are still employed which is associated with the impairment of their ability to work and consequently with costs. The aim of our study was to display the economic consequences due to health absenteeism related to dementia in Slovenia in the period from 2015 to 2019. The methodology of direct and indirect costs was used. We limited ourselves to show the indirect cost-health absenteeism due to dementia, which includes loss of goods, services, early retirement, and premature death. The Database on temporary absence from work was used as data source and International Classification of Diseases as the source of the diagnoses. The cost of absenteeism due to dementia amounted to 11% of all calculated indirect costs in the period 2015–2019. All indirect costs amounted to 0.025% of health expenditures. These costs are greatly underestimated due to various data limitations which we faced and due to many cases of undetected disease. The findings are in line with those from some other countries. The rapid diagnosis and treatment of dementia, changes in lifestyle, as well as the encouragement of employers of affected persons to keep them as long as possible active proved to be absolutely necessary in the light of maintenance of quality of life of patients and the reduction of costs.
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