Dementia is one of the biggest challenges facing health and social care today. The cost of treating dementia in the UK is estimated to be £23 billion a year; higher than the costs of cancer, heart disease or stroke combined.
Dementia is most common in older people:
(Alzheimer’s Society 2012)
The 2009 Department of Health’s ‘Living Well with Dementia’: A National Strategy and the Prime Minster’s ‘Challenge on Dementia’ in 2012 set out the following priorities:
- Increasing public and professional awareness
- Early detection and diagnosis of dementia
- Improving the quality of care of people living with dementia in all services
- Providing high quality end of life care
- Increasing research in the field of dementia
- Creating dementia friendly communities
Research in dementia has advanced considerably over the last 15 years but it’s underfunded compared to research in, for example, cancer or cardiac care.
People with dementia, their relatives and carers, need reliable information from a trusted source about their condition and an understanding of the challenges they face across public services, business and society as a whole.