Dementia is one of the greatest challenges facing our ageing society. There has been major progress in recent years in securing public and political commitment to responding more effectively to dementia
The Dementia Action Alliance has launched with a major plan of action to change the experience of living with dementia in England for good. The organisations call on all families, communities and organisations to work with them to transform quality of life for the millions of people affected by dementia.
There are 750,000 people living with dementia in the UK now and by 2025 there will be over one million. Dementia is an incurable condition caused by diseases of the brain that over time seriously impairs the ability of someone with dementia to live independently. Symptoms can include severe memory loss, mood and personality changes and behaviour that challenges others such as serious confusion, agitation and aggression. Many people with dementia also have other medical conditions or develop them during the course of their illness.
Families currently provide the majority of care and support for people with dementia and this can be both tiring and stressful - physically, emotionally and financially. A large number of people with dementia also live alone and can be at particular risk of isolation or abuse. However, if people with dementia are diagnosed early, and they and their families receive help, they can continue to live a good quality of life.
The financial cost of dementia in the UK is £20 billion a year and rising. Two thirds of people with dementia live in their own homes and one third live in care homes. One in four people in hospital have dementia and two thirds of people in care homes have dementia.
Forty five organisations from the charity, public and private sectors have come together to form the largest ever united front against dementia. The Dementia Action Alliance has been set up to bring about radical changes in the way society responds to dementia and to transform quality of life for people living with the condition.
Long term care: News update: 11 November 2010