On Tuesday 17 March Basingstoke MP Maria Miller pledged to make this election memorable by taking action to support the 850,000 people living with dementia across the UK.
Maria joined over 200 other MPs and representatives from Alzheimer’s Society in Westminster to meet people with dementia and commit to support those affected by the condition. On the day, Maria supported Alzheimer’s Society’s general election campaign that is calling for more people to get the dementia diagnosis they need and for everyone to be properly supported afterwards.
Maria said: ‘We all have a part to play in improving the lives of people living with dementia. This week the first dementia friendly high street has been launched in Basingstoke. There are around 999 people living with the condition in Basingstoke and we have the fastest ageing population in Hampshire. It's vital that we can ensure our community adjusts to their needs. I have pledged my support for the Alzheimer's Society's campaign to build a dementia friendly society which includes getting a formal diagnosis and better support. "
Alzheimer’s Society campaigners were in Westminster to urge MPs to make this election memorable for all those affected by dementia. The charity is striving to ensure that more people get a diagnosis and the support they need, that there is a doubling of spending on dementia research and that communities are encouraged to become dementia friendly to ensure people with dementia can live full and active lives.
While in Westminster, Alzheimer’s Society supporter Shelagh Robinson, 73, who was diagnosed with dementia five years ago, delivered a petition with 67,375 signatures to the Prime Minister. The petition calls for everyone diagnosed with dementia to have access to a Dementia Adviser or Support Worker – a named contact who can help them come to terms with the diagnosis and guide them through the complex health and social care system.
George McNamara, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Alzheimer’s Society said:
‘Dementia is the biggest health and care challenge our country faces – one that all of society must respond to. By the end of the next parliament more than a million people will be living with dementia. There is unlikely to be a family in the country that is not affected.
‘We are pleased to have been able to engage over 200 MPs in one day. 2015 is set to be an important year for politics – but together let’s also make it an historical year for people with dementia.’