Dementia affects an increasing number of people: in 2012, 800,000 people in the UK had a form of dementia. The cost to the British economy, estimated at £23bn a year by the Alzheimer’s Society, is now greater than cancer, strokes and heart disease combined. Finding a solution that can both alleviate the pressures on society and allow people with dementia to live with dignity is crucial; this is why it should win the public vote to decide the focus of the Longitude prize 2014.
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Top author Rosie Staal says women like her are in despair
- 92-year-old mother Jean is beset by Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, hearing loss and poor sight
- Rosie longs to spend more time with grandsons Joe, 5 and Zach, 3, and her two-year-old granddaughter Poppy
- Women over 60 make up nearly a third of all hospital admissions for anxiety – juggling caring for elderly parents, grandchildren and ageing or ill partners
- Rosie worries she is also neglecting her husband David
On the train heading home to Dorset from London last week, I leaned my head against the cold window, closed my eyes and savoured a rare moment to draw breath.
After spending three days with my grandsons Joe, five, and Zach, three, I could still hear their joyful voices in my ears and feel their trusting little hands in mine.
Turning my back as they wave goodbye haunts me after every visit, causing a physical jolt to my heart.