The Alzheimer’s Society aim to transform the landscape of dementia forever. Until the day they find a cure, they will strive to create a society where those affected by dementia are supported and accepted, able to live in their community without fear or prejudice.
Jim and Dot aim to raise up to quarter of a million pounds to aid this great cause.
Dementia is one of the most serious challenges facing the NHS. It kills more patients than heart disease and cancer and is using more than its share of the NHS budget. Currently there are in excess of 850,000 sufferers who are calculated to grow to over 1,000,000 by 2025.. The effects appear slowly, sometimes from the mid-fifties but usually in later life. The problem for the NHS is the level of support that the patient requires which becomes full time care in the later stages.
Many sufferers live alone and following a routine visit to a hospital for some other illness cannot be sent home as they cannot fend for themselves. This results in a ‘bed blocking’ situation with a dramatic shortage of hospital beds. Those patients who are well enough to be sent home are often still in hospital many months later. Other patients who need to visit a hospital for a routine procedure are denied access as there isn’t an available bed.
There are several excellent charities that support the NHS by providing ‘home visit’ support staff. Dot and Jim decided that the long term solution is to deal with the cause and not the effect. The Alzheimer’s Society concentrates on finding new solutions to prevent the onset of dementia and to slow down its growth. They have had marked success and Dot and Jim feel our support would be most useful for them.
The problem is the cost of support now and research into future treatments; it is probable that the NHS will find the task too large for its budgets. Dot and Jims aim is to raise a large sum and in using a high level of publicity draw attention to the situation. Long term if this encourages others to emulate their initiative that will be a major step forward which will benefit all of us, that is dementia sufferers, their families and everyone who uses the NHS. They are relying on corporate donors who will recognise the commercial benefit of supporting this circumnavigation and identify with the moral cause.