As the Alzheimer’s disease epidemic spreads across the globe, the race is on to find a cure. The UK has recently announced new plans to ramp up education and improve the lives of people currently living in the UK with dementia.
Learn more about their new plan and also learn about the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s from the United States.
The UK Promises to Be Most Dementia Friendly Country in the World
The UK has been ramping up efforts to better serve the population of those people who have dementia. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that the UK should be the most dementia-friendly country in the world by 2020, encouraging the government to raise awareness, increase the numbers of diagnoses and boost research efforts.
Dementia currently affects an estimated 850,000 people in the UK and Alzheimer’s Research UK has warned that the disease is a “looming national health crisis,” estimating that 33% of people born in 2015 will develop dementia in their lifetime.
The new plans strive to give everyone over the age of 40 information about symptoms of cognitive impairment and dementia, and include 10% of all people diagnosed with dementia to participate in research efforts. Additionally, the Care Quality Commission will include standards of dementia care in inspections.
Secretary Hunt summarized the goal of the plan stating:
“A dementia diagnosis can bring fear and heartache, but I want Britain to be the best place in the world to live well with dementia.”
He continues, “Last parliament we made massive strides on diagnosis rates and research — the global race is now on to find a cure for dementia and I want the UK to win it. I want us to make big progress on the quality of care and treatment. Hospitals can be frightening and confusing places for people with dementia, so our new plan will guarantee them safer seven-day hospital care, as well as tackling unacceptable variations in quality across England through transparent Ofsted-style ratings.”
National Plan Seeks Cure for Dementia by 2025
The United States is working on a similar plan called the “National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s,” which seeks to find a cure or treatment for the disease by 2025. The plan includes the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA), signed into law by President Barack Obama on January 4, 2011.
According to the NAPA’s official website, it will:
- Coordinate Alzheimer’s research and services across all federal agencies.
- Focus on the development of treatments that would prevent, halt, or reverse the course of Alzheimer’s.
- Improve early diagnosis and coordination of care and treatment.
- Decrease disparities in Alzheimer’s for ethnic and racial minority populations that are at higher risk for the disease.
- Coordinate with international bodies to fight Alzheimer’s on a global scale.
There are five main goals of the program, similar to the goals of the UK plan. They are:
- Prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025.
- Improve care quality and efficiency.
- Expand support services for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and their family members.
- Increase public awareness of the disease.
- Track progress of the plan and spur improvement.
What do you think about the efforts of the UK and the U.S. to fight Alzheimer’s disease on a global scale? What is missing from their plans? What will work? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.