Worldwide there are 35 million people with dementia - these numbers are set to double in the next 20 years. A shocking statistic, but it is a reality.
I recently attended a government-related healthcare function where I was confronted with an award-winning company owner who boasted that he'd been abl...
Over the next 20 years the number of over-65s living with cancer will more than double, from around 1.3 million in 2010 to close to 3 million by 2030. Today, around one in eight over-65s will have received a cancer diagnosis; by 2030, this will be more like one in five.
I was just 12 years old when my father began to exhibit the symptoms of what we discovered 10 years later was vascular dementia. My twenties weren't about university life, all-night parties and angst with boyfriends, they were about supporting my dad to have the best life he could, just as he had supported me as a child.
Dementia care has dominated the news agenda in recent weeks with talk of an oncoming 'dementia crisis'. Debates are ongoing around how to deliver the best standards of care to the growing numbers of people living with dementia.
Christmas can also be the time when early signs of dementia first become apparent. Here at Alzheimer's Society, we often see a spike in the number of calls our Helpline receives just after Christmas, so we really do appreciate how difficult a time of year this can be.
The machine, beeping steadily away in the background, reassuringly spells life. Suddenly it goes haywire. Something's wrong. The patient needs urgent...
The part of the brain that dementia damages is the bit that gives us access to our memories, not the memories themselves. Most memories are stored as images. Images can give access to emotional memories.
I have been working with people with dementia for over 20 years now, most recently in my role as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Dementia Care, at University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW).
Life is about memories. I've got a career where I've got loads of memories. But even just an ordinary man in the street, like my brother David, he's got his memories as well. And not to be able to think about them, remember them, that must be awful. That must be terrible.
We take it for granted, but memory is fundamental to everything you do. As soon as you start losing your memory your whole life goes into meltdown. When my mother started having trouble with her memory it was difficult because she was only in her 50s. At the time we just thought she was being eccentric. She had always been funny, always saying the wrong thing at the wrong time and we would think 'I can't believe she said that!' But this was an exaggerated form. She started crying a lot.
Over my years in the spotlight, I've often spoken openly about my experience with dementia - my fathered suffered with the disease during the later years of his life and for many years I worked to look after him before he entered a care home, when in need of more specialist treatment. I know first-hand how heart breaking and frightening it can be to go through the process of seeing an older relative is diagnosed with the condition.
Talking about donating one's brain to science doesn't always crop up at dinner parties. But the fact is, along with the heirlooms worth more in sentiment than cash, the ill-fitting coats and outdated catchphrases, I want to leave behind something else. Namely, the fleshy organ inside my head.
Joan was 84. I met her over perhaps 25 years. She was feisty, redoubtable and with a mind so sharp you could cut cheese with it. She doted on Malcolm and, when he drowned in 2005, it - as you would expect - affected her greatly for the rest of her life. She died from pneumonia, peacefully, in a nursing home near Deal in Kent.