Head of Dementia Studies Reassured by Prime Minister’s Challenge to Improve Dementia Care

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The Prime Minister instructed the Head of Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester, Professor Dawn Brooker, to “hold his feet to the fire” if his Government did not deliver on dementia care.

Professor Dawn Brooker spoke with the Prime Minister at the Downing Street reception for the Dementia Challenge. The event was held to coincide with the publishing of the report ‘Delivering major improvements in dementia care and research by 2015: A report of progress’.

Prime Minister David Cameron launched his PM Challenge on Dementia in March this year to tackle one of the most important health issues the nation faces as an aging population.

Professor Dawn Brooker, Director of the University of Worcester’s Association for Dementia Studies, said: “Dementia poses an enormous challenge and covers a complex range of different syndromes. Our health and social care services aim to support people through targeted screening, timely diagnosis and post diagnostic support and adjustment.

“People living with dementia need to receive support at each stage of their complex journey, which will include changing lifestyle needs and adjusting to help at home. This needs to be done with the respect and sensitivity to the person’s lifestyle and family circumstances.”

The Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia aims to develop changes in three areas: creating dementia friendly communities that understand how to help, driving improvements in health and care and better research.

Professor Brooker added: “As I walked down that famous staircase at number 10, looking at the pictures of the past prime ministers I know that at least two in my life time have experienced dementia. I suspect there were many others too. Dementia affects everyone in society. It’s a dreadful disease but we need to face up to the fact that it happens to a lot of people and a lot can be done to make it a much easier journey for all concerned

“What makes the PM Challenge so important is that it says very clearly the Prime Minister is not ashamed or fearful of standing up and talking about dementia. If he can do this then it makes it safe for every politician and leader to do the same.”