“One of the greatest challenges of our time is what I’d call the quiet crisis, one that steals lives and tears at the hearts of families, but that relative to its impact is hardly acknowledged. We’ve got to treat this like the national crisis it is. We need an all-out fight-back against this disease; one that cuts across society.” Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking at the Alzheimer’s Society Conference, March 2012.
In a speech given on June 6, 2012, Ita Buttrose, AO, OBE National President of Alzheimer’s Australia said, “Importantly, the government will take a proposal to the next meeting of Commonwealth and State Health Ministers in August to make dementia a National Health Priority which, if successful – and surely it will be – means that dementia will be added to the other eight major chronic diseases including cancer and heart disease.”
It seems the western world is becoming very united on the view that dementia is an increasing and significant issue, and it is heartening to be every so slightly involved in trying to improve the outcomes for people living with dementia, and those who support and love them. In the USA, in Europe and in New Zealand, they too are working towards making changes to policy, funding and the lives of the families facing this disease. It can at times be disheartening living with dementia, and hearing so many sad stories of the loss of lives caused by the disease, but it is also very encouraging to have a feeling that change is in the wind.