48 million people worldwide have dementia. There is currently no cure for this devastating disease. By 2050 this figure is set to TRIPLE to 150 million.
Cancer, often called “The Big C” has taken many loved ones from us before their time. However, huge strides have been taken in the detection, treatment and care for victims of cancer. People now have a much higher chance of surviving if diagnosed early enough.
The same cannot be said about “The Big D” – Dementia. There is no cure, diagnosis rates are poor and support for families is tragically inadequate.
As a degenerative disease of the brain it’s harder to treat than other chronic illness. On average people live eight years before they die from dementia.
Finding cures for dementia must remain the overriding priority.
However, in the meantime there’s much more we can do to support people and their loved ones “live well” with “The Big D” . We must improve;
- Diagnosis rates
- Early Intervention
- Signposting of support services
- Availability of person-centred care
- Respite for carers & loved ones
When you witness the devastation of dementia it makes you realise that if we don’t tackle the “The Big D” properly, it will be far more destructive than “The Big C” to families across the world.
Discovering cures will take time and victims of this disease will continue to increase as our population gets older.
However, diagnosis, early-intervention, person-centred support and respite for carers can all be improved pretty quickly.
So let’s start by embracing and supporting the terrific people out there making a huge difference to the lives of families with “The Big D”.