Dementia care needs new focus

A new association formed to improve dementia care has issued a list of outcomes it wants to see in place within four years.

The Dementia Action Alliance, made up of charities, public and private organisations, has agreed seven key outcomes it believes should be delivered by the end of the National Dementia Stategy (NDS), now in its second year.

The DoH, RCGP, Alzheimer’s Society and others believe the new association will focus efforts on improving care for people with dementia and their carers.

The alliance's first report, the National Dementia Declaration, was issued on Tuesday at the DoH's conference, Improving Dementia Care in London.

It says that, by 2014 when the NDS ends, the Alliance wants all patients and their carers to be able to say:

  • I have personal choice and control or influence over decisions about me
  • I know that services are designed around me and my needs
  • I have support that helps me live my life
  • I have the knowledge and know-how to get what I need
  • I live in an enabling and supportive environment where I feel valued and understood
  • I have a sense of belonging and of being a valued part of family, community and civic life
  • I know there is research going on which delivers a better life for me now and hope for the future

Care services minister Paul Burstow said: ‘Dementia is more than a health issue, it’s one of the defining social challenges of our time. We have to prepare ourselves now for the impact this will have on our society as our population ages.

Ruth Sutherland, interim chief executive of Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘The Dementia Action Alliance provides an unprecedented opportunity to bring about real change for people with dementia.’

‘Putting dementia on the map in such a way will not only transform lives but also has the potential to save millions of pounds.’

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