More than a hundred thousand people living with dementia have been urged to take part in a pioneering research programme.
Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage issued the call to action as part of the government’s goal to make England the world leader for dementia care, support, research and awareness by 2020.
The minister said: “Dementia is a global health emergency and one the government has not shied away from tackling – our world leading Dementia 2020 Challenge has led to impressive progress in how we treat and support people with dementia and now we are driving it forward to ensure we protect more people affected by this devastating condition.”
Around 850,000 people are living with dementia in the UK, with the number set to rise to over 1m by 2025.
The government invested over £82.5m in dementia research last year combined with an additional £15m in the Dementia Discovery Fund, and £190m in the UK Dementia Research Institute to help fund breakthroughs in how we treat the condition.
As part of its review of progress following the launch of the Dementia 2020 Challenge in 2015, the government pledged to raise awareness of dementia risk factors, including heavy drinking, diabetes or high blood pressure and enhance understanding of early onset dementia. It also aims to have 25% of people with a diagnosis signed up to Join Dementia Research, a nationwide service that helps people in the UK find and take part in vital studies.
Dinenage added: “With the number of people with dementia set to increase by the millions over the next few years, there’s still more to do to ensure we meet the aims of the Challenge now, and into the future. I want to see improvements in how we treat younger people with the condition and raise public awareness of the risk factors.
“Dementia is a societal issue – it affects us all in one way or another. A society that supports family, friends, communities and research is a society we should all want to live in and it is a necessity to help us tackle this condition.”