Dementia and Alzheimers are cruel conditions. Robbing the sufferer slowly of everything that used to make them, the memory fails, personalities can change; the impact falls across friends and family.
Its hard on everyone.
I used to work with dementia patients some twenty years ago, and I am pleased to say the level of care has increased rapidly, thanks to companies like Active Minds.
Active Minds grew from experience, knowledge and a desire to improve the quality of life and relationships for people living with dementia, and those caring for them. Meaning people who have to endure the effects of dementia have support to continue living a fulfilling life.
30 years ago, dementia was barely spoken about, and mainly in the context of an elderly mental illness when it was. In the 80’s it was predicted that the number of people with dementia would rise, and it has.
There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. This will soar to 2 million by 2051.
1 in 6 people over 80 have dementia.
Moving forward to the present day, we are far more knowledgable about dementia, and coping strategies.
Voices are more heard, mainly owing to people like Gina Shaw – a woman living with dementia – and doing amazing work in raising awareness.
But a cure seems a long way off, the Alzheimer’s society remind us of the stark underfunding currently.
Dementia research is desperately underfunded. For every person living with dementia, the annual cost to the UK economy is over £30,000 and yet only £90 is spent on dementia research each year.
Active Minds look to support families and individuals with Dementia, products include Alzheimer’s Art Therapy, seated exercise DVDs, jigsaws etc. Their mission is to improve the lives of people living with Alzheimer‘s and Dementia by creating products that are engaging and have purpose to them. Their clients now include many individual carers and groups including, the NHS, Age UK and Bupa, among others.
We have moved on in thirty years.. lets hope in 30 more we are talking about an end to this illness, rather than treatment.
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