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Dementia care to be “brought out of the shadows”

6 August 2007

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Health Minister Ivan Lewis is to lead the government’s first ever national dementia strategy.

At the moment 600,000 people have dementia in England, but this is set to double in the next thirty years.

“The scale of ambition must now meet the scale of the challenge as demographic realities mean dementia will impact on an increasing number of families in our society,” says MP Ivan Lewis.

“The current system is failing too many dementia sufferers and their carers.”

Mr Lewis aims to improve three crucial dementia areas – diagnosis, awareness and the quality of treatment.

It is essential to ensure that a dementia diagnosis is made as early as possible and families receive the appropriate support.

Better awareness will address the stigma of dementia in society and improving service will maximise dementia patients’ quality of life, he says.

“I am determined that this disease is brought out of the shadows,” says MP Ivan Lewis.

“We need to minimise the shame and fear associated with dementia so that people and their relatives feel able to seek support at the earliest possible stage in the knowledge they will get expert help and be treated with dignity and respect.”

Alzheimer’s Society Chief Executive Neil Hunt said: “For too long dementia has been the at the bottom of the health and social care pile.

“This announcement by our new government represents a real step forward in policy towards dementia.”

Department of Health

Alzheimer’s Society