Dementia is the biggest health crisis of our time, experts have said, as statistics show the disease accounted for more than a tenth of the registered deaths in England and Wales in 2018.
Last year saw the highest number of deaths for 10 years, with 541,589 deaths registered in England and Wales, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
But the organisation said mortality rates have remained generally stable since 2011, when taking into account the size and age of the general population.
Deaths from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease continued to increase, accounting for 12.8% of all registered deaths.
Sally Copley, director of Policy and Campaigns at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “For four years now, we’ve seen deaths caused by dementia increase. We need to take action now to tackle the biggest health crisis of our time. One person develops dementia in the UK every three minutes and there are still far too many facing a future alone, without adequate support.
“There has never been a more urgent need for the Government, the NHS, the research community and society to unite with us against this devastating condition. We are working hard to make sure everyone can live well with dementia today and find a cure for the future, but we need the Government to prioritise dementia with a dedicated NHS Dementia Fund and invest in a plan for long term social care reform.”
Dr. Hilda Hayo, chief Admiral Nurse and CEO at Dementia UK, said: “This is further clear-cut evidence of why dementia needs to be made a priority amongst Government. Rising incidences of dementia may point to increased public understanding around the condition but it does not diminish the often intense emotional and practical strain faced by families.
“The Government needs to do more to integrate the creaking social and healthcare systems. More access to funding for social care and specialist dementia support will undoubtedly help to relieve the pressures on a struggling NHS and allow more families to live well with dementia.”