Monday 8th September
This ambitious government programme is designed to improve the lives of dementia patients, their families and carers.
With the number of people affected by dementia expected to double within the space of 40 years, it is a condition which presents a growing problem for politicians and healthcare providers, as well as our society as a whole. Promising “to tackle one of the most important issues we face as the population ages”, David Cameron launched the Dementia Challenge in March 2012, with the aim of delivering “major improvements in dementia care and research” within three years.
Addressing the Alzheimer's Society Conference in March 2012, the Prime Minister said:
“One of the greatest challenges of our time is what I’d call the quiet crisis, one that steals lives and tears at the hearts of families, but that relative to its impact is hardly acknowledged. We’ve got to treat this like the national crisis it is. We need an all-out fight-back against this disease; one that cuts across society."
The parameters of the challenge are set out here
Three “champion” groups were created, and each assigned a specific area of focus:
- Health and care
- Dementia-friendly communities
- Dementia research
The story so far
Two years on, and the champion groups have submitted a progress report to the PM, in an open letter written by the co-chairs and dated 7 May 2014. The highlights of their achievements to date include:
- Diagnosis: rates of diagnosis are up by six percent (from 46% to 48.7%).
- Dementia-friendly communities: more than 50 communities in England have signed up to the scheme. (By July 2014, the number had jumped to 63.)
- Funding: spending on dementia research has been boosted by close to 50 percent (compared to 2010/2011).
You'll find additional articles from benenden health on mental wellbeing and dementia issues at A Healthier You.
For details of World Alzheimer's Awareness month, visit Alzheimer's Society.
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