Simulating Future Service Needs for Dementia Care

This simulation model takes population projections by age and gender, and age-banded prevalence for seven types of dementia to create an annual modeled population which is used to simulate patients entering the model each year.

Each patient into the simulation is given a set of characteristics: age, gender, condition type, severity, progression time, diagnosis and life expectancy. These characteristics govern how patients with dementia move through the simulation, progressing through different phases of the disease over time and taking into account death from all causes. Patients are labelled either diagnosed or undiagnosed, and it is assumed that if undiagnosed patients survive to develop more severe symptoms they move to a diagnosed state.

At each stage of the disease the simulation models the types of services and treatments patients are likely to receive and therefore enables health and social care planners to answer questions about demand changes, earlier diagnosis of dementia, the implementation of new services and costs to different parts of the care system.

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