National Dementia Declaration

A Call to Action

Working in partnership with the initial signatories, people with dementia and their family carers described seven outcomes they would like to see in their lives. They provide an ambitious and achievable vision of how people with dementia and their families are supported by society. All individuals and organisations, large and small, can play a role in making it a reality. Click here to see a timeline of policy for the provision of dementia care in England.

The National Dementia Declaration is based on 7 i-Statements: 

  1. I have personal choice and control or influence over decisions about me.
  2. I know that services are designed around me and my needs.
  3. I have support that helps me live my life.
  4. I have the knowledge and know-how to get what I need.
  5. I live in an enabling and supportive environment where I feel valued and understood.
  6. I have a sense of belonging and of being a valued part of family, community and civic life.
  7. I know there is research going on which delivers a better life for me now and hope for the future.

Download the National Dementia Declaration for England  here. 

How do I become an Alliance member?

To sign up to the National Dementia Declaration and become a member of the Dementia Action Alliance, you will need to read the Declaration and then fill in an Action Plan. This can then be emailed to the Secretariat, who will review your Action Plan and get back to you with comments and next steps.

The History of the Declaration: A call to action

Dementia is one of the greatest challenges facing our ageing society. There has been major progress in recent years in securing public and political commitment to responding more effectively to dementia. We now need to ensure that this commitment is turned into concerted action. With the publication of this National Dementia Declaration we announce the launch of a Dementia Action Alliance and a major plan of action to change the experience of living with dementia in England for good. The organisations signed up to this Declaration call on all families, communities and organisations to work with us to transform quality of life for the millions of people affected by dementia.

The scale of the challenge

There are 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK now and by 2025 there will be over one million. Dementia is an incurable condition caused by diseases of the brain which over time seriously impairs the ability of someone with dementia to live independently. Symptoms can include severe memory loss, mood and personality changes and behaviour that challenges others such as serious confusion, agitation and aggression. Many people with dementia also have other medical conditions or develop them during the course of their illness.

Families currently provide the majority of care and support for people with dementia and this can be both tiring and stressful - physically, emotionally and financially. A large number of people with dementia also live alone and can be at particular risk of isolation or abuse. However, if people with dementia are diagnosed early, and they and their families receive help, they can continue to live a good quality of life.

The financial cost of dementia in the UK is £23 billion a year and rising. Two thirds of people with dementia live in their own homes and one third live in care homes. One in four people in hospital have dementia and two thirds of people in care homes have dementia.

This National Dementia Declaration has been created by people with dementia, carers of people with dementia and a large number of organisations who seek radical change in the way that our society responds to dementia. We seek a similar level of change as has been seen in our society's response to cancer over recent decades.

All organisations that are signatories to this National Dementia Declaration are setting out publicly what they intend to do by 2014 to transform quality of life for people with dementia and their family carers.

The Dementia Action Alliance will seek support from partners in civic organisations, businesses and professions to deliver dementia supportive communities. 

Government action on dementia

In 2009 the then government in England published a five-year National Dementia Strategy. As part of this work, strategies on end of life care and carers are also in place. NICE/SCIE guideline 2006 and Dementia Quality Standards describe what good dementia care should look like.

The coalition government has stated its commitment to implement the National Dementia Strategy; however, it can only do so much. The Department of Health, as a signatory to the Declaration, will set out what it intends to do to help improve the lives of people with dementia. However, radical and sustainable change will only come about through the action of individuals and organisations working together locally and nationally to challenge what is wrong and to do things better.

There is overlap between these outcomes and the draft outcomes in the Department of Health's National Dementia Strategy Implementation Plan. Both the Department of Health's draft outcomes and those described below will need to be developed further. In addition work will need to be done to better understand how to measure these outcomes.

To read a more details explanation of the National Dementia Declaration, please click here.