The top three cities in the world for dealing with dementia are London, Glasgow and Manchester, it has been found. The Dementia Innovation Readiness Index 2020 compiled by the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA), Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) and the Lien Foundation put the UK locations right at the top of the list.
London was recognised for its progressive policies and practices in the area of dementia care and was subsequently ranked number one. In second position was Glasgow, where two people are diagnosed with dementia every day, leading to increased innovation when dealing with the disease.
The index even pointed to the dementia strategy Glasgow City Council published in 2016 as an example that could be followed by other locations. It puts early detection and diagnosis at the forefront of elderly care, greatly improving living standards for individuals.
Highlighting the importance of reducing the stigma around dementia, improving the physical environment, upping social engagement, and supplying resources for continued independent living all lie at the centre of Glasgow’s approach to tackling dementia.
The study said: "Additionally, Glasgow’s plan argues that when people receive an early diagnosis of dementia and are met with information, support, and care, they are better supported in managing the condition throughout its progression.
"To develop its plan, Glasgow solicited feedback from patients, care-givers, volunteers, and healthcare providers to help craft a three-year dementia action plan.”
Some 30 cities across the globe were assessed in the study to determine the levels of preparedness they have in terms of dementia. Among the elements that came under scrutiny were novel approaches, systems, or processes to aid the prevention, treatment, or care of dementia.
In total, there were 26 factors grouped into five different categories examined by the report. These categories were strategy and commitment; early detection and diagnosis; access to care; community support; and business environment.
Each city was then given a score out of ten, with London achieving 8.4, Glasgow getting 7.8 and Manchester coming only slightly lower at 7.7. They were followed by Amsterdam and Vancouver, both of which came in at 7.5, and Copenhagen at 7.4.
Henry Simmons, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Scotland, told The Herald: “As part of its city plan, Glasgow explicitly recognises diagnosis of dementia as a critical point for providers, people living with dementia, and their loved ones, and that diagnosis is a key enabler of resources for disease management, treatment, and care. That being said, no city is perfect and there’s always room for improvement.
“Without the right incentives, policies, and protections for businesses, cities are less likely to become hubs of innovation for the treatment, prevention and risk reduction, and care of dementia. A favourable business environment is critical to catalysing dementia innovation.”
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, one in six people over the age of 80 in the UK are living with dementia. It also states that 70 per cent of those living in care homes have either dementia or severe memory problems, making it a pressing issue that must be dealt with on a day-to-day basis. As there is no cure and cases continue to rise, cities with good strategies will be the best placed to cope.