Our position on key dementia challenges

Learn about our policy work and what we stand for on a wide range of issues related to dementia. We share the changes we want to see and what we're doing to make a difference.

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What we think about...

Dementia diagnosis  

Getting a diagnosis can enable people living with dementia to plan for the future and gain access to care, symptomatic treatments, information, advice and opportunities to participate in dementia research. 91% of the people Alzheimer’s Society surveyed, in 2022, said they benefitted from getting a dementia diagnosis.

Yet over 300,000 people in England, Scotland and Wales do not have a diagnosis. This leaves them and their families at risk of crisis, such as unplanned hospitalisation, which can have an adverse effect on their health and wellbeing, as well as the wider health and social care system. 

Read more about our work on diagnosis

We need to see clear action on: 

  • Recovering diagnosis rates to pre-pandemic levels and beyond, including setting a more ambitious target than 66.7% (currently England only) across the three nations.
  • Improving the quality, accuracy and timeliness of a dementia diagnosis. All diagnosis should include information on dementia subtype, i.e. whether an individual has Alzheimer's disease or another type like vascular dementia.
  • A reduction in regional variation and inequalities in diagnosis, with a focus on underserved communities, with appropriate support for local systems to deliver on a diagnosis rate target. 

Dementia research 

Only research has the potential to rapidly revolutionise how people with dementia are diagnosed, supported, and cared for, and is instrumental in working towards a cure. However, dementia research in the UK has been historically underfunded, hampering vital efforts that could support our health and social care system to respond to one of society's biggest healthcare challenges of our time. 

Read more about our dementia research policy

We need to see clear action in the following areas: 

  • Investing in the research, development, and the implementation of new diagnostic techniques will support people living with dementia to receive an early and accurate diagnosis, so they can access disease modifying treatments. 
  • The Government's recent investment in research needs to lead to increased participation of people living with dementia, by addressing the associated barriers and inequalities. 
  • Targeted funding and support for early career dementia researchers. 

Social care 

The current social care system is not set up properly to deliver care that meets the needs of people living with dementia. Decades of underfunding and neglect by successive governments has resulted in care that is costly, difficult to access, and too often not personalised to meet people’s needs. Too often unpaid carers lack the support they need.  


There is hope for the future for dementia with disease-modifying treatments in development, but we must also focus on help for today and for those who will not be eligible for such drugs. Many people living with dementia will continue to be reliant on the social care system to help manage their symptoms. They will continue to require accessible, high-quality, affordable, personalised care. It is therefore vitally important that the current and future care system is fit for purpose.  


Read more about social care

We need to see clear action on: 

  1. A sustainable funding model for quality personalised care which pools the risk of care costs.

  2. A long-term social care workforce strategy in each nation that delivers a sustainable and supported workforce with the knowledge and understanding of dementia to provide high quality, personalised dementia care. 

  3. Improved support for unpaid carers through assessments and appropriate breaks.

Hospital discharge 

People with dementia can experience discharges that are inappropriate, unsafe, and untimely. This can lead to significant challenges, both for people and their families, as well as the wider health and social care system. These challenges can include physical and mental deconditioning, hospital readmission and premature admission to care homes.  

We need national and local discharge processes and models to work for people with dementia. This means people not staying in hospital for longer than necessary, and being discharged with the right information and advice after a holistic assessment. They should also be discharged to a place of their choosing and with the appropriate onward care and support in place.

Read more about our work on hospital discharge

We want to see better data collection and sharing, alongside greater involvement of the voluntary sector to support discharge, and guidance on leaving hospital that enshrines patient choice and recognises the specific needs of people with dementia and their carers.

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