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Jeremy Hunt calls for national debate about caring for older people

Published 1 July 2015

People should keep in closer touch with older relatives, friends and neighbours Jeremy Hunt urged in a speech at the Local Government Association's conference in Harrogate, today (1 July 2015).

Mr Hunt said that local authority care and the National Health Service cannot alone look after older people. He called for a new "national conversation" about how the ageing population are looked after in Britain, compared with those in other countries where multi-generational households are more common.

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer's Society, said:

'People with dementia are more at risk of loneliness than the general population. Research by Alzheimer's Society finds that less than half of people with dementia feel a part of their community and 40 per cent have felt lonely recently. 

'The whole of society has a role to play to prevent isolation and help integrate people with dementia into their community. Already more than a million people have become Dementia Friends and work locally to transform the way the nation thinks, talks and acts about the condition. Our Befriending volunteers are also working across the country to offer personalised companionship for people with dementia and carers. 

'There must be more help from NHS and care staff alongside the support of volunteers and family carers.'

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Notes to editors:
  • 225,000 will develop dementia this year, that's one every three minutes
  • Alzheimer's Society research shows that 850,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia. In less than ten years a million people will be living with dementia. This will soar to two million people by 2051
  • Dementia costs the UK economy over £26 Billion per year. This is the equivalent of more than £30,000 per person with dementia. 
  • Alzheimer's Society champions the rights of people living with dementia and the millions of people who care for them 
  • Alzheimer's Society works in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • Alzheimer's Society supports people to live well with dementia today and funds research to find a cure for tomorrow. We rely on voluntary donations to continue our vital work. You can donate now by calling 0845 306 0898 or visiting alzheimers.org.uk
  • Alzheimer's Society provides a National Dementia Helpline, the number is 0300 222 11 22 or visit alzheimers.org.uk