The UK is to host the first G8 dementia summit later this year as the government looks to lead a co-ordinated global action against the condition which is expected to affect around one million people in the country by 2020.
The summit on 11th December will bring together health ministers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK and USA to discuss how they can co-ordinate efforts and shape an effective international solution to dementia.
Dementia is having a growing affect on families, carers and health systems around the world and requires long-term health and social care support. Experts believe if countries, biopharmaceutical companies and businesses collaborate more effectively and share information, research and knowledge it would result in significant advances and better support for people living with the condition.
Maizie Mears Owen, head of dementia at Care UK, said: “It is crucial for the world to not only be united but work and pool resources, learning, research and best practices to support people living with dementia and their families and communities. It is a global issue, and to me, it makes the world feel a smaller, more united place if we are all working towards the same goal. Support and positively enhancing people’s lives is crucial.
“The statistic that someone in the world develops dementia every four seconds really shows the extent of this issue. The world is not only sitting up and taking notice, but also looking at how to support and enhance people’s lives that are living with dementia, their family, friends and communities, both nationally and internationally.
“I am really looking forward to the actions, outcomes and support that will come from this and I hope that there is international accountability and follow up. In a time when resources are often limited or under pressure, positive solutions that can be easily implemented and replicated worldwide are so important, especially as statistics show that nearly 60 percent of people living with dementia reside in developing countries.”
Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, said: “Dementia requires long-term health and social care support that can be hugely expensive. This is a global challenge and one which is set to intensify.
“While we continue to pursue tomorrow’s cures, it is critical now more than ever to pay serious attention to what we can do to reduce the average number of years living with the condition. The G8 today have a unique chance to come together to help people manage dementia better, lead healthier lives and deliver real improvements in care and substantial economic savings.”