Dementia Alone Cannot Dominate Ageing Debate

The Prime Minister’s latest strategy, picked up extensively in the news media, is a drive aimed at pharmaceutical companies to focus their efforts on dementia drugs with a hope that, by 2025, significant inroads can be made. There is a plan to build on G8 commitments and further rally all the world’s major powers around the need and importance of this work.  With neither of these things do we disagree – but there is much, much more to this problem.

Dementia does not equal Ageing

Dementia is frequently treated in the news as an illness which is effectively analogous with ageing. That is wrong: it is not an inevitable consequence of age even though its incidence correlates to a high degree.  Neither is it not the only issue which accompanies ageing, which has a range of effects on our lives, as well as bodies.

The number of people in the UK aged 65+ is projected to rise by nearly 50% (48.7%) in the next 20 years to over 16 million, and they will make up a higher percentage of the population than they do today (22.4% by 2032, versus 17.2% today).  Consider this: just 1% of those over the age of 65 are likely to suffer from dementia, while 100% will experience other difficulties of ageing, such as declining general health and mobility.

Broader Ageing Research Required

More money absolutely does need to be put into dementia research. The question is where that research should focus, and what priority is placed on it relative to other aspects of ageing.

I would like to see as much focus, research and effort into understanding the causes of dementia , in pursuit of prevention, as well as pharmaceutical management of the outcomes. However, I believe we must additionally extend all kinds of gerontological research – and, if we understand how to manage the full breadth of aspects of ageing better, we may well directly improve our dementia management.

Dementia Home Care is Critical

Much of the recent news agenda around ageing has been overtaken by stories around residential care home practice and failings, and it has crept in to dominate much of the accompanying political debate around the Care Bill.   It is a worrying distraction – because there is simply no practical or economical way that residential care can be the dominant model going forward. Home care, in close alignment with health and community care, must and will become the main environment within which we help people manage the challenges of old age. That means that dementia care in the home will be vitally important.

The Bradford Dementia Group has made a number of important research contributions in the area of helping and caring for those living with dementia, and those who must support them.  I would like to see much more research of this kind, focused on caring for those with dementia who remain at home.    There needs to be recognition that caring for someone in a specialist care home environment is very different from care at home. The care skills and expertise required for good dementia home care are specialised, and all carers need better researched practical exercises and advice. They need help in shaping the home environment to facilitate the lives of those living with dementia.

This is the most important challenge that exists today – and it will continue long after drugs to alleviate the symptoms have been developed.  We must not let the focus on dementia distract us from the bigger challenge that awaits. We have a vast ageing population issue approaching which will create a tidal wave of pressures on our economy, our communities and our families.

I sincerely hope that there ARE huge steps forward in dementia drug treatments and, in particular, those drugs which can delay onset or minimise the symptoms of dementia for those who need it. However, the stark reality is that no drugs, no amount of righteous politicking, can hold back the tide of ageing health and welfare issues which faces Britain and many other countries.

Sources: Alzheimers UK and National population projections, Office for National Statistics, 2011

Home Carer Careers – Ann’s Story

Our home carers are very special people, who come into the elderly care profession to do more than just a job; they have a deep desire to do good for others and make a real difference to their lives. This was reflected in our earlier published story about Tracy, our Operations Manager and a senior home carer. This week is Dementia Awareness Week, and we’d like to tell you about Ann, another of our amazing carers, who has a very special role to play at Halcyon Home Care. Ann is our Dementia Champion: a Senior Carer with 11 years of experience as a care assistant, senior and operation co-ordinator, she has been developing a best practices programme to support current and future dementia customers in our area. Ann tells her own story about why she became a carer and her journey through to accepting the role of Dementia Champion. She then gives us her own take on the importance of Dementia Awareness Week.

“What motivated me to become a carer was a desire to do a job that made a real difference to people’s lives, and I wanted to do something different with my own life. I found that I really enjoyed helping others.”

A Home Carer Career

I joined Halcyon Home Care in June 2013 after some time away from care. Despite my previous experience as a Care Coordinator I was happy to be doing a job as a Care Assistant in the Community. After a couple of months, Paul, our MD at Halcyon, decided that I would be an ideal candidate to take on the role of Dementia Champion, to support the Dementia Challenge and demonstrate our dedication to both excellence and putting resources in place to support the growing number of people in Berkshire living with dementia. He was looking for someone with an interest in the way we care for people suffering with dementia and how we can make sure that we were doing our best for them. He didn’t want this person to be a manager, rather someone who was actively delivering care in the community and who was very aware of the challenges of caring for people with dementia.

My progression at Halcyon therefore has been swift. Halcyon Home Care has been developing a good reputation and the number of customers and staff across Maidenhead, Windsor and Ascot has grown significantly. At the end of last year I was appointed Senior Carer. This role is mainly about supervising and supporting our staff in the care tasks they undertake, as well as doing quality checks when I turn up unannounced to watch how the carers do their job at a customer’s home. I am also available for the carers to talk to when they have a question or a problem. Once a month I also take the responsibility for the Out-of-Hours On-Call role. When on-call I provide the immediate assurance and support to the staff out caring. This can be from reminding them how to find a new customer through to taking charge and calling the emergency services if there has been an accident.

In April this year I was promoted again to be Deputy Operations Manager. This is much more of an office job but, like Tracy, I will still be out in the community providing care, only not as much.  My new role builds on my experiences as a Senior Carer while now including the initial care assessment visits to potential new customers and the weekly allocation of carers to care visits.

I love working at Halcyon because it is committed to meeting the needs of its staff as a way of ensuring they meet the needs of our customers. I have worked at a few different home care agencies around the area and Halcyon is easily the best. We spend a lot of time getting the Care Plans for customers correct so that carers can do their jobs. It was something I always appreciated as a carer and I want to make sure that I continue to do this in the Care Plans that I am writing. Tracy and Paul have given me great support and I have been given some great opportunities in a very short time.

As a career, I think there are three top things that have made caring a good choice for me.

  • I love going into someone’s home and feeling that by my efforts I have made a difference to them.
  • I enjoy their company and once you know them as a person the little things they ask for are really not too much.
  • Knowing that the person you have been to see has been left well and happier from your visit is a great feeling.

Dementia care is special

Caring for people with dementia demands very different skills and knowledge, and that’s why my role is very important. The needs of people suffering with dementia are different from those of elderly where frailty is their main challenge.

Too many people consider dementia in terms of growing confusion and lack of control rather than what capabilities they retain. Care agencies have traditionally treated all elderly customers with similar care plans, based around tasks to be undertaken from a static care plan. We believe that dementia care needs to be something more. I have only just begun to get to grips with my dementia role, but it is to keep challenging our thinking and practices in dementia care and ultimately, if possible, to develop a clear set of standards for providing care for people with dementia.

Dementia is not very well understood and lots of people feel uncomfortable knowing this about something that could easily affect us in old age. The fact that it’s not one single illness and that it is progressive, so a person’s experience in meeting someone with dementia can be a snapshot of how far along her journey she is, also confuses the understanding among the public.

If Dementia Awareness Week helps more people to know about dementia then it will be a success. The message I would want to give is this:

“with the right kind of care, even when a person has dementia,

we can make a difference to the quality of their life.”

Dementia Week: Dementia – Tip of the Ageing Britain Iceberg

The realities that highlight an increasing need for a Minister for the Elderly

This week is Dementia Awareness Week, and a great time to reflect on how to help those with Dementia. It is a distressing and debilitating condition which we care about very much, yet, feel that this week carries with it some dangers. Focusing on this one issue in isolation — while it can help communities and individuals step up to help — can create a smoke-screen which masks, or pushes to the background, some very serious associated issues. Perhaps Dementia Awareness Week should not be viewed just as a time to focus on the challenges of now, but should be a time of reflection and vision. Britain faces a very scary future scenario when it comes to its ageing population and that is intimately tied up with the challenges of dementia.

Even the simplest facts should be giving us all pause for thought:

  • One in three people over 65 will develop dementia in their lifetime, according to figures from the Alzheimer’s Society.  This is a startling enough likelihood that we must face, not only for our ageing relatives but as we look towards our own future.
  • The number of UK citizens over the age of 65 is already more than 10.5 million, and this figure is set to increase steadily and dramatically for the predictable future in Britain and around the western world. There will be over 16 million in that age bracket in the next 20 years.
  • Not only will there be more of us in the ‘elderly’ category, we are also living longer, on average. That means that there will be an increasing proportion of the population at the older end of the 65-plus spectrum. The number of those aged 85 and over is predicted to double in the next 20 years – and triple in the next 30. There will be a significant number of people over the age of 100. Where in the past it was exceptional to find the extreme elderly, it will become increasingly common.

Everything must adapt. In such an ageing society, dementia will be only one of the impacts and implications that we must face – yet, to date, remarkably little has been done. Efforts to rationalise (and ration) care through major legislative exercises such as the Care Bill can only, in reality, focus on part of the problem at any one time. The problem of taking a piecemeal approach to such a vast issue is that as you change one part of a system, you can create myriad unforeseen outcomes and still fail to effect positive change.

Who’s Responsible?

There is, currently, no minister with specific responsibility for the Elderly population that exists today or which will come to exist in the future. Instead, it is bundled under the vast responsibilities of the Secretary of State for Health and the Minister of State for Care and Support, who must also grapple with unrelated things such as prison care, and care for every other category of citizen. Not only is this unrealistic, but the problem is that the implications of our ageing do not lie solely in matters of how we deal with the illness that is dementia, organise elderly care, or arrange NHS resources.

The challenges that lie ahead touch on every aspect of Government responsibility, from housing and planning of our future communities and built environment, to the behaviour and expectation of businesses in dealing with older customers, to the provision of key public services like transport, to pensions. The list goes on, of course, and underlying it all is the question of how to fund and finance essential change, and negotiate and balance the demands of ageing Britain against all its other pressing needs.

We must stop being Ostriches

The UK Government has been steadfastly ignoring this issue for years now. The current administration did not act even after it was handed a clear call to action by a cross-party group of back bench MPs in June 2012 who launched a Commons debate after a concerted campaign by action group Grey Pride. Numerous petitions have been started, both by that organisation and others independently. A ‘tsar’ approach was tried under the last Government with veteran actress Baroness Joan Bakewell stepping in, but it wasn’t continued, and no real action was taken – not even her calls for the appointment for, at the very least, a commissioner for the elderly to help fight discrimination and promote awareness of elderly issues. In our view this was focused on the wrong part of the challenge; but even this ‘watered-down’ approach would go some way to equalising the disparity which exists, inexplicably, between the interests of the elderly and children, who enjoy (in effect) positive discrimination. While we would not want the interests of children to be neglected in any way, we believe that the same or more attention and support MUST be provided to the elderly.

To date, we have all been guilty of waiting for others to take action. The Government has said it will ‘consider’ the matter, but some spokespeople have raised spurious concerns around the risks of taking such a step – and ignore both the pressing need, and potential benefits. Public services have been content to deal with current problems, and paid insufficient attention to those which are coming down the line. Each administration has managed to hand off the problem to the next. This cannot continue.

Call to Action: Call for Change

This issue is not going to go away.

We call, firstly, on the elderly population, who are voters in their own right, to stand up and call for action on this vital issue. We call on all adults to do the same, in fact – because this isn’t something that will only affect someone else. It is going to affect you, and significantly so.

We also, most of all, call on the political establishment to wake up, and recognise the critical needs that exist now, as well as in the future. This problem sits above and beyond what any single administration can deal with, but we need someone to step up and start the ball rolling – soon. Every member of the Government, both in power and in Opposition, and every public servant in the UK must recognise this as their own problem – because, like everyone, they will age. If the current Government can be brought to recognise it, the next will still need to recommit. This is no small challenge, but postponing it does not make it any easier to address.

The enormity of the changes that our ageing population will force in our society means that ageing and elderly issues should be part of every policy decision. Failure to do so will mean inevitable needs for knee-jerk, after-the-fact, reactive change in the future, at far higher cost than would have been incurred had they been addressed ahead of time. Whatever it is called: a Minister for Older People, a Minister for the Elderly, or a Minister for Ageing Britain, we need one, and extremely soon.

We will be writing directly to the Home Secretary, Theresa May MP, in her capacity as our own local Member of Parliament, and would exhort any reader to do the same, to ask her to take action on our behalf, and join our call to arms.


Sources include: Alzheimer’s Society

Halcyon Home Care is deeply committed to excellence in dementia care, and last year appointed a Dementia Champion. Read some of our other dementia articles. such as 6 ways to care for dementia in winter and Connecting to people with dementia 

Dementia Friends Simply Can’t Cope


It’s nice to see a flurry of interest in Dementia across the media recently, as the PR machine publicising the new Dementia Friends campaign did it’s job.

Of course we strongly support the idea that the whole country and whole community should get involved in helping to support those with Dementia, a debilitating and distressing experience for individuals and their relatives alike.  Greater education and awareness, encouraging volunteering and community support for those with Alzheimer’s is undoubtedly vital. It’s wonderful that people like Sir Terry Pratchett are helping to spearhead change, along with a vast array of kind, well-meaning stars.

We do feel it sad, however, that it takes the glitz of media and music simply to make the subject interesting to the media, unless, that is, they are salivating over some dreadful care home shock story. We also worry that — as good an idea as Dementia Friends is — it rather glosses over the far more pressing problems that surround our country’s planning for an ageing society.  It is not only support for the 800,000-plus people living with dementia today that we should be worrying about; it is the million-plus who will be living with it by as early as 2021, with those numbers destined to rise further.

We are glad to see that some smart reporters and channels are giving it a wider consideration too, but suspect such stories will receive much less discussion and debate.  We love the article by the Telegraph’s Laura Donelly, for example, which highlights a shocking statistic that over 50,000 people in Britain must give up work in order to care for a Dementia sufferer, because there is no other choice or support.

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, is vocal on this issue at present, but is failing to make the next logical connection in his arguments. We should not be looking only to communities and carers to fill the gap without also re-examining the entire fabric of how we deliver care to the elderly population.  It is simply not possible or fair to expect families, volunteers and communities to shoulder the entire burden of an increasingly aged, infirm and less able population. Dementia is becoming more and more discussed, but often as a form of ‘shorthand’ for old age, and there will be even greater numbers of those who are simply old who are not even being considered. Handling the challenges even of old age can be upsetting, as people decline in health, strength and energy.  Advanced dementia, though, is a serious and very hard-to-manage condition – viewers of the latest BBC ‘Protecting our Parents’ programme will have seen some examples of this.

Untrained volunteers, well-wishers and harassed relative carers simply cannot cope adequately with this condition, and certainly  not without a firm underlying foundation supported by the establishment. To cope with both the dementia and overall ageing challenge that faces Britainn, the systems that we have bear a serious rethink. It won’t be possible, and it isn’t right, to shuffle millions of elderly people into residential care as a default option: the ONLY logical way forward is to look at ways to enable them to live in their own homes and communities. But doing so will mean much, much more than volunteers can deliver, fresh approaches to managing limited public resources, and many, many more trained carers who must be attracted, trained, supported and with pay commensurate with this vital work.

Until the government wakes up to the need for a more holistic ageing strategy, and assigns someone to take real and active responsibility for it in the form of a minister for the Elderly, initiatives like today’s Dementia Friends launch will, sadly, remain only a patch and a PR exercise, unsupported by a real and workable social care framework. We need a strategy for dementia care AND we need an overarching strategy for the interests (and care) of the elderly. It’s time to stop assuming someone else will take care of it, and us, all.



5 resolutions for Halcyon Home Care in 2014

The end of one year and start of another are frantically busy times in home care. Not only do many families ask us to keep a caring eye on relatives while they are away or distracted by the mountain of tasks that this time of year always entails, but the needs for provision of social care are continuous. As we settle back into some semblance of normality, we now have time to reflect on what we want, and what we intend, for 2014.

  1. This year we will prove that we are up for the Dementia Challenge launched last year. We have already appointed a Dementia Champion, and will be continually and carefully redesigning and promoting our dementia services. We will look to meet more than simply the basic care needs of those with dementia, but also look to support them holistically and improve their quality of living every day.
  2. We will be watching the progress of the Care Bill as it moves through the legislative process, and are resolved to be vocal – giving credit where credit is due, but not being afraid to challenge areas and aspects of debate which we feel are not hitting the spot.
  3. In a similar vein, we will be proactive in sharing the great stories and examples of care excellence which are the mark of our agency. It isn’t simply to market ourselves but is, much more importantly, to counter the poisonous impact of negative elderly care stories which the media love, but which do such a disservice to our wonderful carers and to other people like us who strive to be different. Shine a light on bad practice by all means – but don’t assume all carers are the same.
  4. Continue to partner positively and proactively with the Local Authority, as we work together to try to meet more of the growing needs for elderly care among the aging populations in Maidenhead, Windsor and Ascot. As a company we’ll be increasing the number of Halcyon-trained care staff and ensuring that they live and breathe our care philosophy of delivering quality care with respect, and continuity.
  5. Lastly, we plan on having fun – with both our team and our customers. A little lightness can go a long way to helping our clients deal with what can sometimes be a tough decision to bring in a helping hand — and to help our carers cope in what is a very demanding job. Plus – it keeps us sane in the office, as we juggle an ever increasing number of care hours!

We’re looking forward to a great 2014.
Happy New Year to all, from the Halcyon Home Care team.


Connecting to People with Dementia

Homecare250px copyI heard Robbie Savage on the radio recently — not in his usual role as football pundit or Strictly Come Dancing veteran, but on a personal basis telling the story of losing his Dad at the age of 64 to dementia and the affect on his family, particularly his Mum. It’s a sad but familiar story to those of us in regular contact with dementia sufferers. The point of his radio appearance was as part of a campaign calling for people to use sporting memories as a way for families and friends to connect with those living with dementia.

Research shows that participating in or supporting a sport can produce long-lasting memories, making it a powerful subject to draw on when talking to loved ones living with the condition. According to Robbie Savage even after his Dad became withdrawn in his illness, talking about sport and the games he had played for Wales would provoke a reaction and stimulate a response.

There is some “science” behind his suggestion of using sport. Different research has found that sport has a powerful emotional effect on us in Britain. Nearly a third of us claim that sport has formed our strongest memories and even more recorded that watching or playing sport has made us feel “ecstatically happy.” So, it sounds logical that tapping into and revisiting those long-term memories would be a good bridge to allow a loved one or carer to connect to someone suffering from a dementia condition.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be through the subject of sport. It is the connection that’s important. We once had a customer with a garden that can only be described as beautiful. Even though my own knowledge of horticulture is limited to spotting an oak tree and knowing the difference between a rose and a tulip, any discussion I had with her about, say, the snow in her garden or fruit on a tree could produce an animated response. It could even entice an often lengthy conversation from an otherwise somewhat remote individual. It was in those moments a window opened into what a delightful person she was.

Winter Dementia Care: 6 Ways to Care for People with Dementia

Homecare250pxWe all respond in different ways to longer dark evenings, colder weather and the changes in family routines that Christmas and the holiday seasons bring.

Dementia care at this time of year is essential. People who suffer with dementia are often more affected and can become more confused during periods of change, necessitating more attention. Careful dementia care is important. As a professional care agency we incorporate all of the following practices into our care management and advice for our customers:

1. Think about inclement weather planning
Berkshire may not be famous for snow-drifts and white-outs but this means our transport systems are sometimes more affected than towns in Siberia when the snow and ice comes! So, we need to manage the risk of difficulties in getting to the shops by keeping a minimum of 3 days’ food in the house. Using even a small freezer compartment for a small loaf and a pint of milk is something to consider. If solid fuel is used for heating, then regular checks on stock levels are essential.

2. Only go out when dressed up for the cold
We now know that the number-one cause of illness and death in winter is down to very cold weather! So, Halcyon discourages customers from going outside and asks whether there is someone else to go to the shops or get things delivered. If they must go outside, we encourage them to dress warmly in layers with hats, gloves, scarves, windproof and waterproof jackets, and wear shoes that are waterproof and have a good grip. That means storing those items so that it is difficult not to “forget” to wear them when they go out. And, where we can’t find those items easily to hand, that we notice it and encourage family members to buy winter-weather clothes.

3. Keep the home warm
Although we all worry about energy costs the home must be kept warm. Some people with dementia can get confused or anxious about heaters and central heating systems. Try to arrange for automatic timer systems that keep the living area in the home at around 18-21°C. We also discourage the practice that is prevalent among many elderly people of sleeping with an open bedroom window – both to save energy and for security reasons.

4. Take action against loneliness and isolation
For reasons that are often linked to sunlight and sunshine, loneliness and depression are more apparent in the winter months. For those suffering with dementia and living on their own, regular and routine visiting is an essential part of their wellbeing. Late afternoon visitors need to take the responsibility to pull the curtains and switch on a light for when it gets darker later. Try to start or bring some activity to get them involved with, doing it together if possible. If it is not possible for the family to sit down with a dementia sufferer, arrange with a care agency to stop by for a regular companionship call during the week.

5. Eat Well
People with dementia are prone to “missing” meals; but our bodies keep warm by burning the food we eat! Hot meals with plenty of carbohydrates (potatoes, bread, pasta and rice), stews and soups help keep illnesses at bay and maintain health and wellbeing. There is also no quicker way to warm the body from inside than with a warm drink of hot chocolate, tea or coffee. Our carers work to care plans, ensuring at least one cooked meal a day in winter, with plenty of hot drinks during the visits and throughout the day.

6. Manage expectations for the holiday period
People with dementia can become anxious with changes in routine and in unfamiliar places. Visiting them at home is often less stressful than taking them out. Family members need to be prepared, and understand that when faced with a new environment a common reaction for those affected is to ask to be taken home after a very short period. This is not a reaction to anything that has been done or said and offense should not be taken. Furthermore, if you are considering bringing in carers to manage in your absence over a holiday period, arrange for plenty of short visits prior to the departure in order to allow enough time for a relationship to be built before departing.

Big family gatherings around Christmas lunches with lots of “unfamiliar” faces can trigger confusion. The need to buy and receive Christmas presents can also increase fretfulness and concern. Families need to manage the Christmas presents issue, preferably by reassuring them that the presents have all been taken care of. But despite these issues, try not to leave someone alone on Christmas Day. Make them feel wanted and involve them appropriately in the preparations and the activities; suffering from dementia does not mean you are incapable of peeling potatoes! We always advise families they will have a more successful gathering when they manage both their own expectations as well as the event.

Ann Smith -Dementia Champion, Halcyon Home Care


Halcyon Home Care appoints Dementia Champion

Homecare-staffHalycon puts Dementia Challenge ideas into action as the local population ages

Halcyon Home Care has appointed a Dementia Champion. Ann Smith, a Senior Carer with 11 years of experience as a care assistant, senior and operation co-ordinator, has accepted the role. She will, with immediate effect, be commencing a best practices programme to support current and future customers in Maidenhead, Windsor and Ascot. In a climate of huge concern over elderly care quality standards Halcyon Home Care is demonstrating its commitment to absolute excellence and putting resources in place to support the growing number of people in Berkshire living with dementia.

Just as in the rest of Britain, Berkshire faces a steadily ageing population and a steady increase in the numbers of people with dementia. Nationally, David Cameron’s Dementia Challenge, which launched in March 2012, aims to tackle the issues affecting people living with dementia by driving improvements in health and care, creating dementia-friendly communities and improving dementia research.  Locally, as the number of people living with the condition increases it is likely to put additional strain on resources. Halcyon Home Care is a CQC-approved care services provider which works with the RWBM local authority as well as with private clients.
This appointment means the business will be better prepared to deliver the very best care possible. The key tasks will be to develop: a shared vision of best practice in caring at home for dementia sufferers; a specialist carer in dementia from a thorough understanding of dementia and the challenges it presents to the provision of care in the home; a training programme to share this knowledge across the Halcyon Home Care workforce; an annual Dementia Care Audit of the practices of Halcyon Home Care for its customers with dementia.

Halcyon Home Care has first-hand understanding of the real need for older people to maintain independence and control. It believes that caring for someone living at home with dementia is an area where all care agencies should endeavour to make improvements in quality. Its recent announcement is a fighting step towards helping to plan for the future now.

Said Ann: “This is an important idea that I wanted to be a part of. It won’t be simple, as in my experience no two people with dementia are affected in the same way or have the same home environment and circumstance. But we already provide care that is appreciated and this work will help us provide it every time to the best of our ability while learning how to do it even better.”

Paul Dunn-Sims, Executive Partner of Halcyon Home Care, commented: “We feel we have to stay at the front of any developments in care practices for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementia illnesses. By appointing Ann, we can develop a specialist who remains a hands-on carer and will see it from a care perspective rather than as a medical specialist. Our aim is to develop a culture of best practice and understanding across our care teams, led by the specialist input of Ann that can be called upon when customers need it.”

See press release here

Supplementary information

• The Alzheimer’s Society estimates that by 2021 there will be one million people with a form of dementia in the UK, and that steady growth is expected to over 1.7 million by 2051. The financial cost of dementia to the UK will be over £23 billion in 2012.
• In the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead the population of elderly residents is steadily growing (a result of improved lifestyles, diets, and medical advancements). The RBWM Local Development Framework1 publishes that approximately 15% of the Royal Borough’s population are aged 65 years and over and 2% of the population are aged 85 years and over. This is the highest proportion of all of the authorities in Berkshire. What’s more, population projections for the borough suggest that there will be an increase of nearly 24% in the 65-84 age range, and nearly 55% in the number of over 85 year olds by 2020. With dementia currently affecting 7% of the borough’s population of 65 years and over this is projected to rise by 35% by 2020.