Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has posed the question of whether we might find a cure for dementia in near future.
Speaking on World Alzheimer’s Day he said: “This is the question that for years no one has dared to ask. We assumed – wrongly – that dementia was just part of the ageing process instead of the disease of the brain it actually is. But four years ago, that changed.
“The UK hosted the first ever G8 dementia summit, which set the explicit ambition to find a cure or disease-modifying therapy for dementia by 2025.
“Since then, governments have formally united in the fight against dementia, and adopted the first Global Action Plan on Dementia, during the World Health Assembly in May 2017.
“And the establishment of the UK Dementia Research Institute earlier this year will provide a new focal point for research across care, prevention and technology as well as biomedical science.
“Living with dementia can be horrific for the individual and their family – but it doesn’t have to be. Social interaction – the love and support of family and friends – is one of the best possible ways to slow progression. We may not yet be able to cure the disease but we can all play a part in tackling the symptoms.”
There has been no major breakthrough so far in the search for a cure but Mr Hunt’s speech shows the importance the government and health officials now attach to it.
People concerned about their future health in the light of the growing incidence of dementia may take some comfort from being able to protect their interests by setting up lasting powers of attorney.
These are legal documents that enable you to appoint someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you ever lose the capacity to make such decisions for yourself. You can appoint deputies to look after your financial matters or health and welfare issues, or both if you so choose.
Please contact us if you would like information about setting up a lasting power of attorney.