Earlier this week I attended an Alzheimer’s Society event for parliamentarians to learn more about the issues affecting people with dementia. There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and it is the 21st Century’s biggest killer.
In Cardiff Central there are estimated to be 4,000 people living with dementia. Having dementia can have a devastating impact on the day-to-day lives of people with dementia and their families, and could happen to any one of us, in any community. That is why we must all take action to tackle dementia.
There is currently no cure for dementia, and very few effective treatments. Funding for dementia research has lagged behind that of other major health conditions such as cancer or heart disease. In recent years progress has been made, with £250 million investment (including £50 million from Alzheimer’s Society) committed to the establishment of the world’s first dementia research institute (DRI). But we still have a long way to go until we find a cure and understand how to care for people living with the disease.
Dementia and social care is another important issue, on which the Alzheimer’s Society is campaigning on. We cannot talk about social care without talking about dementia: currently 65% of social care places are used by people with dementia, and therefore we must ensure people with dementia are involved in the government’s forthcoming consultation on a long term solution for social care.
If you are personally affected by dementia then please visit Alzheimer’s Society’s dementia connect website where you can find the services they provide near you. Or you can call their helpline on 0300 222 11 22.