Dementia 2014: Opportunity for change is Alzheimer's Society's third annual report looking at the quality of life for people with dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. As with our previous reports, Dementia 2013: The hidden voice of loneliness and Dementia 2012: A national challenge, it provides a snapshot of how well people are living with their dementia, what support they are receiving, and what barriers they face to living well.
The evidence presented in Dementia 2014 shows that some progress has been made towards improving the quality of life for people with dementia and their carers, but that much more needs to be done. The report focusses on what now needs to happen to effect the changes that are necessary to bring real improvement to the lives of people with dementia. Most importantly, the government must address the artificial divide between health and social care in order to improve quality of life for people with dementia.
Dementia 2014: Opportunity for change was launched at the same time as Dementia UK: Second edition which presented new evidence on the prevalence and cost of dementia in the United Kingdom. It found that by 2015 there will be 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and that dementia costs the UK £26 billion a year.
Dementia 2014 also pays particular attention to the regional variation in dementia policy across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This information is easily accessible in the format of separate executive summaries for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
What were the findings of Dementia 2014: Opportunity for change?
Alzheimer's Society ran a survey of over 1,000 people with dementia. We found that:
- Less than half feel a part of their community
- 40% have felt lonely recently
- Only 47% said that their carer received any help in caring for them
- 72% are living with another medical condition or disability as well as dementia
- Just over half of people say that they are living well with dementia
- Almost 1 in 10 only leave the house once a month
- Only 62% were able to make choices about how they spend their time
- Less than 20% think that they get enough support from the government
What is Alzheimer's Society campaigning for?
In the report, Alzheimer's Society recommends 14 actions that will enable people affected by dementia to live well with the condition.
Action 1: All statutory health and/or social care bodies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to set targets for stepped yearly improvements in diagnosis rates up to 75% by 2017
Action 2: Twelve weeks from referral to diagnosis
Action 3: Establish a minimum standard of integrated post-diagnosis support for people with dementia and carers
Action 4: Governments to build on progress and commit to appropriately resourced national strategies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Action 5: An open debate with citizens on the funding of quality health and social care that meets the needs of people affected by dementia
Action 6: A fully integrated health and social care system that puts the needs of people first
Action 7: People with dementia and their carers must be involved in the commissioning, design and development of services
Action 8: High-quality mandatory training for all staff providing formal care for people with dementia
Action 9: All communities to become more dementia friendly
Action 10: Everyone should have improved awareness of dementia
Action 11: All businesses to take steps towards becoming dementia friendly
Action 12: Dementia research should receive a level of investment that matches the economic and human cost of the condition
Action 13: All people with dementia and carers should have access to the best evidence-based care and research
Action 14: People affected by dementia and their carers should be given greater opportunity to participate in dementia research