Facing up to dementia

THERE are 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK, yet a new report by Alzheimer’s Society shows that three quarters of us don’t feel the country is geared up to deal with dementia.

The Dementia 2012 report has found that almost half a million people with dementia are battling depression, loneliness or anxiety.

Not only do they face a struggle for a diagnosis and support from the health and social care system, but everyday things we all take for granted – getting to the shops, spending time with friends and family, getting money from the bank, going on holiday – are made difficult by the lack of understanding of dementia in our communities.

We must face up to the fact that people with dementia and their carers are being failed. In the 1950s attitudes to cancer changed and in the 1980s we did the same for AIDS. Now is the time to begin a movement on dementia.

From Plymouth to Preston and from the boardroom to bus drivers, we all need to respond to the dementia challenge.

Elisabeth Bratlie, Chyngton Way