Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Britain faces dementia catastrophe without 'aggressive' research drive

Britain faces a “dementia catastrophe” unless Alzheimer’s is tackled with the same aggression as the fight against Aids, charities are warning.

More people fear being diagnosed with the debilitating brain condition above anything else than fear cancer or death itself, research shows.

A million people in Britain will suffer some form of dementia within two decades, and one in three pensioners will die with it, figures suggest.

Yet 12 times as much is spent each year on cancer research, and there are six times as many scientists working on how to treat tumours. Currently, as many as two-thirds of people who develop dementia are never diagnosed while the best treatments can only help reduce symptoms and cannot prevent the degenerative disease progressing.

At the launch of a campaign by Alzheimer’s Research UK to increase the “pitifully low” investment in dementia, Sir Terry Pratchett, the author, said: “Alzheimer’s is a large number of small tragedies usually played out behind closed doors, so in spite of the numbers living with it, the world still doesn’t take much notice.
Read the rest here.


David said...

My mother has dementia, we tried to care for her for two years. We kept her out of the system ended up losing everything, because health insurance is tied to employment I was unable to care for myself (a diabetic) so I went uncontrolled until I ended up homeless with my mother because family kicked her out because her persistence (repeating herself endlessly) drove them nuts not to mention messing herself. When I sought assistance a social worker told me alzeheimers can not be diagnosed until she died so I was on my own with her. It was a nightmare, I received a lot of prayers but never once did ne of those good Christian people offer us a meal, an hour of respite care, or a night on a couch. I had my first heart attack two years ago at 36. My wife and I never accepted aid from the government, we tried to live by the way we believe trying not to make my mother or ourselves a burden on society and we found that the church wasn't there for us, our fellow conservatives (who always talk about social services being the churches job) weren't there for us. I feel for anyone who has to go through this hell.

Anonymous said...

My wife has had dementia for about 9 years now. I read recently that it is like waking up every morning and going to the same funeral. Can't argue with that comment. One thing that you must accept when caring for a loved one with dementia: you will lose all your friends. And also always remember that it could be worst. Statmann