Friday, September 30, 2022
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Reader’s letter: Dementia must be a priority for the next Prime Minister

Dear sir,-

Dementia is one of the greatest health challenges facing society. Alzheimer’s Society estimate that by 2025, one million people will be living with dementia in the UK and, by 2040, dementia will cost the UK economy £94.1 billion annually. Of the top ten causes of death worldwide, dementia is the only one that can’t be cured, stopped, or even slowed down. I would like to see this changed. 

Improving the lives of people affected by dementia is so important to me because of people like my dad who – at 94 with severe dementia – and pays half his income to cover his care fees can no longer afford to pay for his electricity. This winter his choice will be to heat or eat. He doesn’t even have the capacity to choose. You tell me what to do? Because no-one in any Government position is willing to!

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With a new Prime Minister taking office next month, this is a rare and crucial moment for dementia in our local area. It is our chance to ensure it does not slip down the political agenda. Since the General Election in 2019, the Conservative Government has promised to deliver: 

  •  The National Dementia Mission, doubling dementia research funding and establishing a dementia research taskforce 
  •  A massive reform of the Social Care system, putting people in control of their care and reducing the amount they have to pay for it 
  •  A ‘visionary’ ten-year plan for dementia, backed by proper funding and powerful partners, which could be transformational for 900,000 people with dementia in the UK. 

We must ensure these promises are kept by whoever becomes the next Prime Minister. I want to see Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss pledge to make dementia a priority in their Government, and help people in this area affected by dementia live more fulfilled and less fearful lives.  

Beverley Gilligan
Leeds East

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