NDCD 2019 - The future of dementia care
Wednesday, September 4th, 2019 | Blog
In the UK it is estimated there are over 850,000 people living with dementia and this figure is predicted to grow to one million by 2025 and two million by 2050. The increase in the prevalence of dementia leaves us with a conundrum; how do we best care and support for all of those people?
This is no easy answer as there are a lot of different variables to take into consideration, but with it being National Dementia Carers’ Day, we figured it would be best to take into account how we can best support and help those caring for people with dementia, along with the steps currently being taken to improve that support.
One of the biggest steps in supporting those caring for people with dementia is to improve the education surrounding the conditions. As it becomes more prevalent throughout society, providing necessary education about dementia will improve our society’s collective knowledge, meaning we are all able to be more supportive and accommodating.
Improving the collective knowledge of dementia will also help people recognise the symptoms earlier. The earlier dementia is diagnosed, the easier it is to maintain and the better the quality of life may be for the person affected.
2. More support for carers
As the number of people diagnosed with dementia continues to grow, so will the amount of carers providing support in the home. Be this a family member, a friend or a volunteer, we collectively need to ensure there is adequate support in place. Many of our nation's unpaid carers are supporting the NHS by ensuring individuals are cared for in the home.
Providing better support for carers on a national basis will not only help raise general awareness, but it will also raise the standards of support for everyone. More local clubs, better charitable reach and more visible support from small and large businesses will ensure our nation's dementia carers know they aren’t alone.
3. Treatment Options
One of the biggest changes which will ultimately support carers is the development of new and effective dementia and Alzheimer’s treatments. There are currently treatments which can reduce some symptoms of Alzheimer’s, but there isn’t anything that can halt or reverse the development of neuro-degenerative disease.
An American drug currently going through clinical trials is titled ‘BAN2401’. The drug works by reducing amyloid beta - the chemical which causes dementia - in 81% of patients who were on the highest dose. While this drug is still going through clinical trials, the outcome of reducing the main cause behind dementia is a big step forward.
There is currently a focus on repurposing drugs which have already been through the trialling process - it takes roughly twenty years for a drug to be made available to the public! Dutch scientists found that a cheap pill used to lower blood pressure can also have positive effects for those with Alzheimer’s. Further studies need to be undertaken, but it's believed that increasing blood flow to the brain could help improve the memories of those living with Alzheimer’s. (1)
4. Get involved on a local level
We can’t all get involved with improving national support or influencing drug trials, but we can offer support on a local basis, in the communities we live in. There are charities and organisations across the UK which support both those living with dementia and the people who care for them.
If you want to support dementia carers, why not fund raise for your local charities, or better yet, host a coffee morning at a local cafe? This will give carers a chance to meet with other individuals providing care for a loved one with dementia, while also providing some time away from the house.
There are countless ways to support your local community of dementia carers, so why not get involved?
Here are some helpful links to get you started:
https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/ - Alzheimer’s UK has some really insightful videos which will help you learn about the different types of dementia and how best to support someone living with the condition.
5. Healthcare Providers
As the demand rises in the coming years, healthcare providers - like Kare Plus - will play an important role in supporting those living with dementia and their carers. We can support customers in their homes, providing unpaid carers some respite while our passionate carers provide day-to-day support.
To find out more about how Kare Plus supports customers with dementia and other neuro-degenerative diseases, visit our services page by visiting the link below.