Today is the start of Dementia Action Week.
Dementia is a terribly cruel disease. Those living with it face the fear of an uncertain future, whilst their family and friends experience their loved ones slipping away. This is especially true in our constituency. Around 2,500 people locally are living with Dementia; meaning that we have one of the highest number of residents suffer from Dementia of any Parliamentary constituency in the UK.
This year's Dementia Action Week focuses on the importance of increasing diagnoses rates. The Alzheimer's Society have put together a ‘Dementia Checklist’ that includes common signs of dementia. Whilst this checklist is not intended to diagnose dementia, it can help people to note any difficulties they have experienced and have a conversation with their doctor.
An early dementia diagnosis opens the door to future care and treatment. It helps people to plan ahead while they are still able to make important decisions on their care and support needs and on financial and legal matters. It also helps them and their families to receive practical information, advice and guidance as they face new challenges.
Research is crucial to understanding and tackling dementia. In memory of the late Dame Barbara Windsor, the Government launched a new mission in 2022 to put this into practice. Research funding for dementia will rise to a total of £160 million a year by 2024, with an additional £95 million being provided to increase clinical trials and research projects. A new taskforce – made up of industry, the NHS, academia, and families affected by dementia – will lead this work to allocate funding.
You can find out more about Dementia Action Week and the Alzheimer's Society here.