Why we need a strategy to help people with dementia recover from the impact of the pandemic

Alex Morden Osborne, Public Affairs Officer, on making sure the government provides the support people need to recover from the pandemic’s impact.

Back in June, we published Moving forward stronger, a paper that calls on the government to introduce a clear strategy to help people with dementia recover from the impact of the pandemic. 

People affected by dementia have had an incredibly challenging 18 months, from delays in diagnosis to disruption to their usual support services, including rehabilitation.

Many people with dementia have seen their condition deteriorate at a much faster pace than usual.

Alex Morden Osborne

Rehabilitation strategy

We want the government to fund a two-year rehabilitation strategy to help ensure people have all the therapeutic support they need. Even while the UK Parliament has been on breaks for summer and party conferences, it’s been important for us to continue making noise about this. 

Moving forward stronger was written jointly with nine other charities and professional organisations. This consensus makes it all the more likely that politicians will stop and listen to what we have to say. 

My next goal as part of this work is to get MPs to agree to hold a debate on Moving forward stronger in Westminster. This will help make sure that our asks stay at the top of the political agenda and gives us the best chance of making our recommendations happen. 

Behind the scenes

A lot of my team’s work involves developing relationships with politicians behind the scenes, supporting what they’re doing on behalf of people affected by dementia.

We can provide briefings and suggested questions, as well as statistics for their local area. These positive relationships provide a good basis for us to ask them for further support. 

Thanks to this kind of work, Conservative MPs Paul Bristow and James Davies and Labour MP Barbara Keeley attended our launch event in June. All three have been brilliant advocates for people affected by dementia in parliament and have said they’d support a debate on Moving forward stronger. 

Trying to achieve political change is often a long-term project, and one that can feel frustrating at times. Since starting at Alzheimer’s Society in March, though, I’ve been inspired by how much we’ve been able to achieve for people affected by dementia. 

Our #CureTheCareSystem campaign helped make sure that there’s more pressure than ever on the government to bring forward social care reform this year. The time is absolutely right for us to claim some more wins – watch this space! 

What can you do to help?

Join our campaigns and help us challenge and change the issues faced by people affected by dementia.

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Dementia together magazine is for all Alzheimer’s Society supporters and anyone affected by the condition.
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