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Dementia group campaigns for change


The lives of dementia sufferers could be improved by reducing the use of anti-psychotic drugs to treat the condition, a coalition of 44 organisations has said.

The recommendation is one of several put forward by the Dementia Action Alliance, which includes the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, Alzheimer’s Society, BUPA, Dementia UK, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal College of General Practitioners and Stroke Association.

Anti-psychotic drugs are used to treat aggression, agitation, shouting and sleep disturbance, but according to a Government-commissioned review they are being wrongly prescribed to about 145,000 people with dementia.

Ruth Sutherland, interim chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, said the alliance provided an “unprecedented opportunity to bring about real change for people with dementia”.

Care services minister Paul Burstow said: “This Dementia Declaration shows tremendous commitment from across health and care services and the voluntary sector, to transform services and tackle stigma to make a difference for people with dementia and their families.

“Willingness to join forces to act should spur more organisations to join this movement for change.”

The declaration has seven aims, including the reduction in the use of anti-psychotics and patients having more control over decisions, being part of a community and living in an enabling and supportive environment.

Mr Burstow and Ms Sutherland will launch the declaration at a Department of Health conference on improving dementia care in central London.

Copyright Press Association 2010

Dementia Action Alliance

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