Every day, almost 600 people in the UK join the 850,000+ living with dementia, a group of symptoms that occur when brain cells stop working properly. Supporting ageing demographics and welfare reforms are two of our growth drivers at Legal & General and tie in with our focus on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Good Health and Wellbeing. With Alzheimer’s disease the most common cause of dementia, we teamed up with Alzheimer’s Research UK to increase education around the condition, better support the 52% of the UK population who know someone who has been diagnosed with a form of dementia, and reduce the economic impact of informal carers withdrawing from the workforce to care for someone with dementia. Never has this become more important: figures suggest more than a quarter of people who have died in England and Wales as a result of Covid-19 were people with dementia, while dementia death rates outside of the virus are at far higher levels than expected, suggesting lockdowns are exacerbating symptoms and profoundly complicating care.
A lack of understanding around dementia has led to the misconception that it is an inevitable part of ageing, when it is actually caused by pathological diseases. Yet this misconception, held by one in five adults, is creating dangerous barriers to funding, and subsequently finding treatments and even a cure, for a condition that is expected to affect more than 2 million people in the UK by 2050.1