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Health Series: Expert Comment

Society needs to challenge ageism more, says leading care for older people expert

Professor Julienne Meyer comments on the postcode lottery facing older people following the publication of the government's new "dementia atlas"

by George Wigmore (Senior Communications Officer)

An interactive “dementia atlas” published online by the Department of Health needs to lead to society challenging ageism more, according to a leading expert on the care of older people at City University London.

According to the new government data, people with dementia are being let down by local services across the country and has revealed a postcode lottery in care for the chronic and degenerative brain disease according to experts.

Older personThe interactive resource, shows that standards of care vary significantly in different areas, with services failing to reach almost half the patients for check-ups even once a year in one area.

Speaking about the postcode lottery in care revealed by the dementia map, Julienne Meyer CBE, Professor of Nursing: Care for Older People at City University London and Executive Director: My Home Life programme, said:

“It is interesting that more people are not up in arms about the post code lottery for dementia care.  With the aging population and growing numbers of people with dementia, we are all likely to experience first-hand dementia in ourselves or our loved ones.  However, we tend to avoid the issue until it personally affects us.  By this late this stage, we are often lack capacity to take action.

“I just don’t understand why society does not challenge ageism more in the same way that it seeks to challenge sexism or racism.  Older people, including those with dementia, are the largest client group for health and social care. We should take care not to tuck this fact away as a minority issue, it is a majority issue only acknowledged by the minority.”

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.