Dementia is the greatest global challenge for health and social care in the 21st century: around 50 million people worldwide have dementia and this number is predicted to triple by 2050. The Lancet Commission on dementia aims to review the best available evidence and produce recommendations on how to best manage, or even prevent, the dementia epidemic.
Dementia is not an inevitable consequence of ageing and the Commission identifies nine potentially modifiable health and lifestyle factors from different phases of life that, if eliminated, might prevent dementia. Although therapies are currently not available to modify the underlying disease process, the Commission outlines pharmacological and social interventions that are able to help manage the manifestations of dementia.
Alistair Burns, Professor of old age psychiatry at the University of Manchester and National clinical director for dementia for NHS England, who has been involved in DU from it’s inception, said: “This sets the scene for a lot of evidence based care for people with dementia from prevention to ‘end of life care’. Greater Manchester’s dementia standards impart focus on prevention as well as highlighting there are opportunities to ‘live well’ by positively taking care of body and mind personally, supported by wider society, not solely the health and social care system.
“The use of technology and innovation also offers us the opportunity as a collective to make improvements and transform the lives of people affected by dementia. Everyone has an opportunity to make a difference personally in reducing risks of dementia as well as supporting those affected by dementia. Let’s learn and make improvements together to truly make a difference to those affected and potentially affected by dementia.”
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