The World Dementia Council met for the first time in London last month to discuss the international effort to improve treatments for dementia.
The council was created to support world dementia envoy Dennis Gillings to raise awareness and promote investment in the research and development of dementia treatment. The council includes representatives of several G7 members, including the US, Germany and Japan. With 44.4 million people estimated to be suffering from the condition around the world, the council hopes to create international cooperation to find treatments.
The council was introduced in December 2013 at the G8 (now G7, as a result of Russia's involvement in the Ukraine crisis) dementia summit in London, where the states in attendance agreed to double funding for dementia research and set a target date of 2025 by which to identify a cure or disease-modifying treatment.
The UK was one of the first countries to implement major policies designed to improve dementia awareness. A mandate by Health Education England proposed that over 100,000 healthcare professionals would have completed dementia awareness training by the end of 2013. Public Health England (PHE) and dementia charities also called for businesses to become more dementia friendly. This came after a PHE study found that approximately 50,000 people will have to quit their jobs to become carers in 2014, with a further 66,000 having to make adjustments to their work schedules. PHE has launched an initiative called Dementia Friends, to encourage people to learn how to make life better for those living with dementia. The initiative is supported by a TV advert campaign featuring a number of celebrities.
The global cost of the illness is estimated to be £358 billion.
For more information on the council and all campaigns visit: www.dementiachallenge.dh.gov.uk