Yes, the title may seem familiar but only in regard to Al Gore's treatise on global warming. The fact is that leaving things until the inconvenience of doing so forces action is something we are all familiar with but can we really afford to take such a view when dealing with dementia? We are used to being told that one in three of us will suffer from cancer in our lifetimes but did we ever think that this would include us losing our minds, the very essence of our being? While the figures released today are an estimate and this needs to be factored in, the very real fact is that dementia, and dementia related deaths, will replace cancer as the number one disease relating to death as we live longer.
As I have said before, now and not later, is the time to look at the architecture of the care system we have in place for the elderly and those suffering from dementia. The Court of Protection having now found its fledgling voice can now take a lead in putting pressure upon Government to focus on an issue that simply will not go away, no matter how much we may find the subject inconvenient.
One in three people born in the UK this year is projected to develop dementia in their lifetimes, according to Alzheimer's Research UK. The charity described the forecast as a "looming national health crisis". The figures were based on current life expectancies and the risk of people developing dementia as they age. However, there is acknowledgement that the figures - projecting what could be happening 100 years in the future - are only an estimate. More than 800,000 people in the country are already affected by the disease, which is caused by the destruction of brain cells. Age is the biggest risk factor for dementia and rising life expectancies could increase the number of people living with the condition. Heart disease, diabetes, smoking and a lack of exercise are also linked to the condition.