Sunday 29 September 2013

Britain, no country for old men suffering from dementia today, will continue to be, for more and more of them tomorrow

As the population of Britain ages, an increasing number of old men and women are living with dementia. Some 800,000 are already affected and that number is set to rise to 1 million by 2021 and to 1.7 million by 2051. Last year dementia is estimated to have cost Britain £23,000,000,000.
In Britain in 2013, almost half of us have a relative or close friend with the condition and one in three of us will develop it ourselves in the future, yet  it is currently estimated that 55% of those living with dementia haven't been diagnosed.

At a recent seminar hosted by 'The Guardian' and in focused on  how can this huge challenge be met, Alison Cook, Director of External Affairs at the Alzheimer's Society said :
" Dementia is the most feared disease in the over-50s and very many people are frightened to talk about it."

Sarah Rochira, 'Older People's Commissioner for Wales', recounted seeing many dementia patients "staring at the walls all day" or stripped from the waist because their continence issues were too difficult to deal with. "I have seen many wonderful front line services but I've met too many people for whom we are not getting it right for us to be complacent. I think we have a long way to go. Our benchmark should be to provide the best care for the people we care about and for ourselves in the future."

Professor Tom Dening, 'Chair of Dementia Research at the University of Nottingham', said : "Various parts of the current system that make me want to weep", particularly the lack of adequate support for people who have just been diagnosed with dementia. "We are under such pressure with the cascade of people we are referred we can't provide continuity and we simply shove them back to primary care until there's a crisis."

Trish Morris-Thompson, 'Director of Quality and Clinical Governance' at Barchester Healthcare, said prejudices in society about old people, and those with dementia in particular, needed to be addressed. All services needed to work together to bring about change. "I don't believe piecemeal works – it has to be right across the system. We have to have the ambition to get the right care in the right place and we can only do that by collaborating."

Prime Minister David Cameron launched his 'Dementia Challenge' last year saying : "Dementia is one of the biggest challenges we face today – and it is one that we as a society simply cannot afford to ignore any longer."

So, Sarah thinks : "We have a long way to go." Tom : "could weep". Trish calls for 'collaboration', David talks about our : "biggest challenge" and JohnBoy says : "Old men with dementia are very low on the social agenda" and he "doubts if very much will be done at all."

My earlier Post :
Tuesday, 21 May 2013
Britain is no country for old men with dementia without support and in the dark about what is happening to them




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