Our speciality director, Ruth Poole talks about how Celesio UK is helping to fight against dementia, a growing issue faced by our ageing population and one that is having considerable impact on the NHS.
Dementia is a growing, global challenge. As the population ages, it has become one of the most important health and care issues facing the world.
In the UK alone, there are 850,000 people living with dementia, and numbers are set to rise to over 1 million by 2025, soaring to 2 million by 2051. The economic cost related with the condition is estimated at £23 billion a year and is predicted to triple by 2040*. Celesio UK recognises that this is a growing concern for the UK, and we are committed to playing our part in creating a more dementia friendly society.
In October 2014, Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, delivered The Five Year Forward View stating that early diagnosis of dementia, and offering consistent support for patients diagnosed, is an ambition of the NHS; care plans will be created alongside those patients living with dementia as well as their families, and personalised budgets will be developed so that resources can be tailored specifically for each patient’s needs. The Five Year Forward View also paints a vision of care services, communities and businesses working together to create Dementia Friendly Communities.
As a business, we are passionate about supporting our communities, and in April 2015, Celesio UK became an official corporate partner with Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer Scotland. We are proud to say that over the last three years our colleagues have raised over £400,000 and this is funding vital research to help us understand the development of dementia.
According to Alzheimer’s Research UK, 1 in 3 people born in the UK this year will develop dementia in their lifetime. The risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia increases with age, affecting an estimated 1 in 14 people over the age of 65, and 1 in every 6 people over the age of 80**.
Every day, our pharmacy teams deal with thousands of people who are living with dementia, have a relative with the condition or are caring for someone with it. This regular contact with those affected by dementia emphasises why it is so important that our colleagues working in each LloydsPharmacy store are trained to understand the needs of dementia patients. More than 80% are Dementia Friends and we incorporate this training into our induction programme as it fits entirely with our belief in inspiring more positive lives, reflecting the care and respect we show to our customers and patients every day. Our colleagues wear the forget-me-not logo to show their commitment and I’m proud to say that I, like all members of our UK Board, are Dementia Friends too.
As our Lloydspharmacy stores are predominately based on local high streets, our presence amongst the local community means we are ideally placed to become accessible dementia friendly hubs. It is known that risk factors associated with dementia include high cholesterol, blood pressure, smoking and diabetes and our established expertise in these areas can help patients reduce their risk of developing dementia.
Our local community pharmacies also offer customers life-enhancing specialist products through a pioneering partnership with Unforgettable.org, the UK’s leading authority on dementia products and services.
However, there is more to becoming a Dementia Friend, it’s also about raising awareness of the condition. Talking to our patients, customers, friends and family about the condition and encouraging them to become Dementia Friends like us, in the hope that we can, together, build dementia friendly communities across the whole of the UK.