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From The Mirror:

The number of dementia sufferers in the UK has risen by 50,000 in the past year, new figures have revealed.

There are now more than 800,000 victims in Britain, with three out of four becoming anxious or depressed and six out of 10 feeling lonely, according to a new survey.

PM David Cameron yesterday launched a new campaign to tackle the growing crisis – calling it a “scandal”.

But last night his Government was slammed for imposing swingeing cuts which have had devastating knock-on effects.

Shadow care minister Liz Kendall said: “The crisis in dementia cannot be addressed without tackling the crisis in care.

“More than £1billion has been cut from local council budgets for older people’s social care since the Government came to power.

“Eight out of 10 councils are now providing support only for those with substantial and critical needs.
"Charges for vital services for people with dementia, like home help, are increasing and vary hugely across the country. These are a stealth tax on some of the most vulnerable people in society.”

In its most wide-ranging survey of dementia, the Alzheimer’s Society found three out of four people do not think society is geared up to deal with the disease. The same number also feel their carer is not getting the support they need.

Speaking at an Alzheimer’s Society conference, Mr Cameron said yesterday: “Dementia is a terrible disease. And it is a scandal that we as a country haven’t kept pace with it.”

It costs the country about £23billion a year. Mr Cameron said funding for research is to hit £66million by 2015, up from £26.6million in 2010.

Alzheimer’s Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes said: “The announcement by the Prime Minister marks an unprecedented step towards making the UK a world leader in dementia.

"Doubling funding for research, tackling diagnosis and calling for a radical shift in the way we talk, think and act on dementia will help to transform lives.”

* Dementia, from the Latin for “without mind”, was thought a natural part of ageing until US neurologist Robert Katzmann first linked “senile dementia” to Alzheimer’s disease in 1976.

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