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MP for Grantham and Stamford Gareth Davies talks about importance of dementia awareness

I pay tribute to those who provide vital care and attention for those living with dementia, writes MP for Grantham and Stamford Gareth Davies.

This week, the Government, NHS, and charities are marking Dementia Action Week to boost public awareness. I wanted to use my column this week to do the same and take this opportunity to highlight some of the excellent work going on in our community.

Anyone with personal experience of dementia knows just how devastating this condition can be for so many aspects of our lives. While dementia is most often associated with the elderly, we must always keep in mind that dementia can sometimes affect those much younger too.

Gareth Davies
Gareth Davies

I was surprised and saddened to learn that dementia is now the leading cause of death in England, with one in two people directly affected by it throughout their lifetime, meaning either they will care for someone with the condition, develop it themselves, or both.

Alongside the impact on individuals and their families, dementia is a condition that carries a high social cost, with around £35 billion a year currently spent on healthcare, social care, and informal care. By 2040, annual costs associated with this awful condition are predicted to rise to over £94 billion.

All of this means that it is so important that we do all we can to further research into the causes of dementia, continue to improve care for those affected, and search for more effective treatments.

Recently, I was pleased to see the Prime Minister host the Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia Mission reception at 10 Downing Street, bringing together charities, academia, and businesses who are leading our national effort to tackle this devastating illness, backed by the Government's commitment to doubling dementia research funding by the end of this year.

Alongside Ministers, NHS leaders, and charity supporters, it was wonderful to hear that one of our very own local charities were also invited to attend!

Dementia Support South Lincs is a fantastic charity supporting hundreds of local people and their families with dementia by offering a range of activities including coffee mornings and art sessions across Bourne, Stamford, and the Deepings.

This recognition of their ongoing work was richly deserved, and I caught up with Kate from Dementia Support South Lincs, who attended the event at No.10, and Francis, who the charity have been supporting for a number of years, to congratulate them.

I first met Kate and Francis at one of my local surgeries in Stamford back in 2020, and this week I will be joining them again at their Art Exhibition in Bourne, where the art produced by those the charity supports will be displayed for our community to enjoy.

I pay tribute to those who provide vital care and attention for those in our community who are living with dementia, whether for a relative in their own home or as a professional carer in our local care homes.

As we continue to research for better treatments to hopefully prevent this cruel condition, I

will continue to support our local charities and national efforts to ensure that those in our community with dementia receive the care and support they deserve.

Gareth's colleague Rutland MP Alicia Kearns is already leading the way with Dementia awareness after she launched Rutland's Great Dementia Conversation.

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