Assembly highlights increased Dementia in London

10 September 2014

72,009 people live with dementia in London

By 2015 there will be 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK

This is set to reach two million by 2051 if no action is taken.

One person develops dementia every three minutes in the UK– that’s 225,000 people every year[1]

In a moving discussion, London Assembly Members today backed the Alzheimer’s Society ‘Dementia Friends’ campaign, which aims for at least one million supporters by 2015.

The Assembly also called for training across the GLA and the wider group, to understand the disease.

Dementia is a growing problem in the capital and the economic costs will continue to increase. Dementia costs the UK £26 billion a year – enough to pay the energy bills of every household in the country. People with dementia, their carers and families shoulder two-thirds of the cost themselves

Caroline Pidgeon AM, who proposed the motion, said:

“The Dementia Friends programme aims to change the way the nation thinks about dementia. Learning about dementia through some basic training can help remove the stigma of dementia and ensure people with dementia are helped to live full and active lives. Little changes in behaviour and above all being patient with people who have dementia, can make a huge difference.

“Having undertaken Dementia Friend training I am delighted that the London Assembly is supporting greater training throughout the Greater London Authority. This is a small but important step in ensuring that London becomes the world’s first dementia-friendly capital city.”

John Biggs AM, who seconded the motion, said:

“Not only does Alzheimer’s disease have a terrible personal cost, but increasingly, it will have a growing economic cost in the UK.

“The Alzheimer’s Society’s campaign to enlist one million Dementia Friends is an important development in this area, and I applaud everyone who is part of this movement. We must do everything we can to reduce the burden of this disease in London and the wider UK.

The full text of the motion is:

“Assembly notes statistics from the National Alzheimer’s Society which show that there are currently 800,000 people with dementia in the UK, with over a million people with dementia expected by 2021, with Healthcare London estimating that in 2008 that there were approximately 64,600 people with dementia in London.

UK wide statistics about dementia also reveal that there are over 17,000 younger people with dementia but predominately it affects people as they grow older, with the proportion of people with dementia doubling for every 5 year age group, and two thirds of people with dementia living in the community.

Assembly further notes that on the 10th September 2014, the Alzheimer’s Society will launch new dementia prevalence figures and explore the economic cost of dementia in the UK. These new figures have been developed with King's College London and London School of Economics.

Assembly welcomes the Alzheimer’s Society campaign to ensure that by 2015 there are at least one million people who are Dementia Friends; people who understand a bit more about dementia and the small things that can be done to help people with the condition. Assembly praises the many individuals and organisations, including major retailers that have already joined this campaign.

Assembly wishes to see the stigma and misunderstanding towards people with dementia reduced in London and calls on the Greater London Authority and the wider GLA family to offer Dementia Friend training for staff.”

Notes to editors:

Dementia 2014/Dementia UK Report - Alzheimer’s Society - http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=510

The motion was agreed unanimously

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