Dementia care in England

If you are concerned that you or a friend or relative has dementia, it's important that you talk to your GP.

Too often, dementia goes undiagnosed. Symptoms can be mistaken as a natural part of ageing, and many people are left confused and upset about being left in the dark.

Dementia can't be cured, but early detection can slow down symptoms. With the right support, people with dementia can lead active and fulfilled lives. This is why diagnosis is so important.

At the moment, only half of the 670,000 people estimated to be living with dementia in England receive a formal diagnosis. In 2012 the Prime Minister launched the Dementia Challenge to drive improvements in health and care, create dementia friendly communities and improve dementia research.

Knowing where to turn is an important part of improving care. Two thirds of people are worried about either themselves or someone they know developing dementia. If you have concerns about someone, please feel free to explore these pages, which are filled with information about the condition, its symptoms and the support available for patients and carers.

What is Dementia?

Dementia describes different disorders that trigger a loss of brain function, the most common being Alzheimer's. These conditions are progressive and eventually severe. There is no cure, and dementia is ultimately terminal.

Symptoms include memory loss, confusion and problems with speech and understanding.

To read more on the types, symptoms and stage of dementia, view these pages.

What is dementia?
Recognising the signs of dementia
Alzheimer's disease stages 
How is dementia diagnosed? 
Resources for dementia

Context

There are an estimated 670,000 people in England with dementia and numbers are expected to double within 30 years. One in three people over 65 will die with dementia.

The condition is one of the main causes of disability, ahead of cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke. As a country we spend much less on dementia than on these other conditions.

It is estimated that dementia costs England £19 billion a year. Without the commitment of unpaid carers such as family and friends, it would be much more. Unpaid care is estimated to save the economy £11 billion a year.

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