Dementia is set to become the 21st century's biggest killer, with someone developing it every three minutes. Sadly many people are facing it alone.
In London there are an estimated 72,000 people living with dementia. This number has increased from 64,600 people in 2008 and is expected to rise further.
Soon it will be Dementia Awareness Week (15 - 19 May 2017) and Alzheimer's Society is asking everyone to take action and unite against dementia. With the number of people affected by the condition continuing to go up, the likelihood is that at some point it will affect us all.
The charity recently released figures from an Ipsos MORI survey which showed that a worrying lack of understanding about dementia still persists among Londoners. 43% of British adults aged 16-75 years old in Greater London who were questioned online say that dementia is the health condition that they most fear developing.. In addition to this, many respondents admitted that they would not feel comfortable interacting with a person with dementia.
Two-thirds of people with dementia live within the community, so it's vital that the right support is available within their neighbourhood. An inclusive and supportive community can help someone who has dementia live a better quality, independent life for longer. From taking public transport, to doing the shopping or going to watch a play or football match, a dementia-friendly community is instrumental in enabling a person with dementia to continue with their day-to-day and leisure activities.
Currently, diagnosis rates and the quality of care for people with dementia fluctuate from borough to borough. But everyone in London should have access to the same level of support. That's why I am uniting with Alzheimer's Society to support their work to make London the first dementia-friendly capital city in the world.
London should be a city where everyone is supported and no one is stigmatised because of their health condition. We can all do our bit to learn how to implement the small changes that make a big difference to the life of someone with dementia.
Alzheimer's Society is urging everyone to come together and unite against dementia. There are many ways you can get involved - whether it's becoming a Dementia Friend, campaigning or donating to fund research for a cure. Unite now at alzheimers.org.uk.
Together, we can make London the world's first dementia-friendly capital city.