This year Alzheimer’s Society is releasing the New Deal on Dementia. We all know that dementia is the biggest health and social care challenge facing society today, with 850,000 people currently living with the condition, but it doesn’t get anywhere near the attention it deserves.
Alzheimer’s Society want to make dementia impossible to ignore and to work together to change the landscape of dementia forever. Until the day we find a cure, we will strive to create a society where those affected by dementia are supported and accepted, able to live in their community with understanding and without fear or prejudice.
Today, too many people with dementia are struggling. They can’t access the information, help and support they need to live well with their condition.
At the moment, care and support for people living with dementia is variable across the country. Our analysis shows that on average, people with dementia and their carers have to open twenty doors to access vital care and support. This is unacceptable. People with dementia have the right to access the care and support they need through a user-friendly system that is simple to navigate and incorporates specialist dementia support.
Alzheimer’s Society believes that better integration of health and social care services is key to achieving better outcomes for people living with dementia. We know the health and social care system must evolve towards greater joined-up working. This is because integrated health and social care will create a system more capable of meeting the complex needs of an ageing population. Integrating care requires the NHS and local authorities to work together to streamline service provision in order to provide more holistic, person-centred care. An integrated system working for people with dementia will be a system that works for everyone.
The New Deal on Dementia underpins our strategic ambitions, not only to reach every person who has a diagnosis and wants our help, but to change the conversation on dementia and mainstream the rights of those affected by it.
Our new strapline – United Against Dementia – communicates that we all have a role to play in beating dementia once and for all. We are committed to driving forward the growing movement for change which has already seen almost 2 million people become Dementia Friends and over 200 communities working to become dementia friendly.
We are proud of our new brand and the potential it has to bring dementia out of the shadows and change the conversation from hopelessness and apathy to hope and action. From fundraising to volunteering to campaigning for better standards of care, we can all play a part.
We need to do much more to support people living with dementia to be part of their community, wherever and however they are living. We can do this by building Dementia Friendly Communities that are shaped by people affected by dementia and by supporting all those who want to take action to change the community around them.
We hope that you will unite with us against dementia to make it impossible to ignore.
Article by Bernadine McCrory, Operations Director, Alzheimer’s Society
To hear more about Alzheimer’s Society and the work they are doing around dementia, join us at Dementia 2017: Implementing Better Care on April 2oth at The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester.