Torfaen MP Nick Thomas-Symonds has met with Alzheimer’s Society to learn about the urgent need to make dementia a political priority.
This year, Alzheimer’s Society’s conference stand emphasised the striking fact that dementia is the UK’s biggest killer. During their conversation, Nick Thomas-Symonds heard how one in three people born in the UK today will develop dementia in their lifetime.
Alzheimer’s Society also highlighted how dementia costs the UK £34.7bn a year, a figure that will rise to £94.1bn by 2040. By this same year, 1.6m people are expected to be living with dementia in the UK.
Right now, however, more than a third of people with dementia in England and Northern Ireland don’t have access to a diagnosis and the vital care and support it unlocks, while in Wales, around half of people with dementia are without a diagnosis.
Nick Thomas-Symonds discussed with Alzheimer’s Society representatives how this makes clear the case for prioritising dementia. With exciting new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease in the pipeline, Nick Thomas-Symonds also heard how it is vital action is taken now to ensure people living with dementia can access these drugs as soon as they reach the UK market.
Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “Having met Alzheimer’s Society this party conference season, I was shocked to learn that dementia is the UK’s biggest killer. That’s why I have pledged to take action to make dementia the political priority it needs to be. If you are worried that you or a loved one may have dementia, you should contact Alzheimer’s Society for advice and support.”
James White, Head of National Influencing at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We thank Nick Thomas-Symonds MP for engaging with us at Conference, and pledging to support us to make dementia a priority.
With one in three people born in the UK today expected to develop dementia in their lifetime, it’s vital that politicians prioritise tackling this disease. This means driving up diagnosis rates, reforming the social care system and bolstering dementia research to provide help and hope for everyone affected by dementia.”
Support and more information about a diagnosis is just a phone call or a click away. Visit alzheimers.org.uk/memoryloss or call Alzheimer’s Society on 0333 150 3456 [0330 094 7400 Welsh-speaking number] For callers who do not have English as their language of choice, Alzheimer’s Society can arrange a simultaneous language translation service.