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Dementia is 'not just part of growing old'

Dementia is 'not just part of growing old'
28th January 2009

The main adviser to the government regarding dementia strategy has emphasised that the condition is not just an inevitable conclusion to growing old.

Speaking to the BBC, Professor Sube Banerjee said that dementia care and guidelines for such things as research into young onset dementia was a top priority for the country.

He noted that current guidelines allowed anybody to make a diagnosis of dementia, which in turn led to many people not being diagnosed at all.

Professor Banerjee added that care homes were a last resort in such situations, although this point was contested by a leading healthcare provider.

Commenting on dementia care in the UK, Dr Graham Stokes, head of mental health at Bupa, said: "We need a dedicated service for people with dementia.

"I share the frustration with the delays in publishing the strategy. But we cannot afford to get this wrong."

Professor Banerjee is the head of mental health and ageing at King's College London and head of the Centre for Innovation and Evaluation in Mental Health.

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