David Cameron will next month host a summit of ministers from the G8 nations to discuss dementia care. It is hoped that this event will see the start of a drive to change attitudes towards the condition.
We want to tackle the stigma that still surrounds this disease — and make dementia a “normal” disease we talk about, cope with and confront openly.
On Thursday parliament held a brief debate on dementia. Due to other commitments I was not able to speak but noted the recent comments of Jeremy Hunt, who said:
“With advances in medical science, the commitment of governments across the world and a willingness from everyone to change attitudes, we truly can be the generation that beats dementia.”
My conservative colleague Tracey Crouch, spoke in the debate, saying that improving the treatment of sufferers needs “a change in the language that we use when talking about care”.
She said: “If we talked about weekly art lessons, which have been proved to provide an improvement in cognitive function, as a therapy rather than an activity then we could hope to see a change in attitude towards research in this area.”
This week the Health Secretary also launched a dementia map identifying the differences in diagnosis across the country:
Locally in Tynedale we have outstanding dementia care but over the next year we should be seeing how we can do better.