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How does Dementia affect everyone in Britain?

BBC News 11th December 2013

Dementia is described as a "global disaster waiting to happen" and the biggest health and care problem of a generation.

Someone is diagnosed with the disease every four seconds and cases are expected to soar from 44 million now to 135 million by 2050.

The disease already costs the world £370bn each year.

Leading nations have committed to developing a cure or treatment for dementia by 2025 at the G8 dementia summit.

Health ministers meeting in London said it was a "big ambition" and that they would significantly increase funding for research to meet that goal.

The UK has already said it aims to double its annual research funding to £132m by 2025.

The global number of dementia sufferers is expected to treble to 135m by 2050.

The G8 said it would "develop a co-ordinated international research action plan" to target the gaps in research and ways to address them.

Impact of dementia in the UK

There are over 820,000 people living with dementia in the UK today, a number forecast to rise rapidly as the population ages. Just 2.5% of the government’s medical research budget is spent on dementia research, while a  quarter is spent on cancer research.

One in three people aged over 65 will die with a form of dementia.

Dementia costs the UK economy £23 billion per year. That is twice that of cancer, three times the

impact of heart disease and four times that of stroke. Combined government and charitable investment in dementia research is 12 times lower than spending on cancer research. £590 million is spent on cancer research each year, while just £50 million is invested in dementia research. Heart disease receives £169 million per year and stroke research £23 million.

For every £1 million in care costs for the disease, £129,269 is spent on cancer research, £73,153 on  heart disease research, £8,745 on stroke research and just £4,882 on dementia research. Caring for each person with dementia has an economic impact of £27,647 per year: more than the UK median salary (£24,700). By contrast, for people with cancer the figure is £5,999, stroke £4,770 and heart disease £3,455 per year.

Source: ‘Dementia 2010’ Alzheimer’s Research Trust 


What can Healthy Friendships do to help?

“Forget-me-not” Dementia Cafe"

Our innovative dementia café will be a place where people with dementia (or who are worried about their memories) and their Caregivers can come together in a safe, friendly and comfortable environment. This will enable them to socialise, share experiences, get information, practical advice and emotional support. The venue will typically be a church hall or community centre. We will provide nutritious organic mid day meals, seated sport such as Boccia, exercise, social stimulation, guest speakers, reminiscence sessions, music & singing, discussions, quizzes, information, signposting, advice etc. Members are encouraged to make decisions and vote on what they want to do.

"Forget-me-not” is a flower traditionally associated with faithfulness and enduring love. Caregivers driven by such emotions save the health and social care economy billions of pounds every year and get almost nothing in return – they need and deserve our project desperately.

Unlike memory clinics (a NHS service with formal referral systems and assessment processes) our Cafe’s are informal and free of process focussing on the person with dementia in a spirit of acceptance and love.

Our cafés will be hosted at two locations in rural Montgomeryshire every week from 10.00 am – 3.00 pm. A paid member of Staff will run each Cafe supported by volunteers.

Joining Healthy Friendships has made a huge difference to my life by getting me out and having people to talk to who understand the issues surrounding mental health. I particularly enjoy the monthly lunch meetings I am now offering my services as a volunteer.

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Encouraging people who experience emotional distress to live happier healthier more fulfilled lives


About Us

Radnorshire Healthy Friendships grew out of a five year Healthy Living Centre project funded initially by the New Opportunities Fund and which was managed by a partnership of the following bodies: Powys Mental Health Alliance, Powys Local Health Board, Powys Social Care Services and the National Public Health Services.

The original Volunteers recruited for the project wanted to continue our activities after the end of project. They therefore formed an association which quickly became a registered charity and sought new funding from the Big Lottery Fund and other funding providers.
On 6 October 2005 Radnorshire Healthy Friendships was born. We had twenty Members, a few hundred pounds in the bank and no funding at all. We were fearful for our continued existence and desperate to seek partner organisations. The future looked bleak indeed!
Today could not be more different, with a rapidly growing Membership and with staff members covering Radnorshire, parts of Brecknock, Montgomeryshire and South Shropshire.

We have achieved this by demonstrating to a wide range of funding providers that we have the right approach when it comes to delivering services. We deliver what is needed, we do it cost effectively and we provide our services to the highest standard.

At Healthy Friendships we listen to Members, Volunteers and Staff and take heed of what they want and need, we limit our carbon foot print, keep costs low, standards high and constantly seek out new ways to improve what we do. This is not rocket science - it is simple common sense.

So Whatever Next?

We are now in the process of recruiting a new staff member to facilitate our "Forget-Me-Not" group in Welshpool. 

See latest news page for more details

Forget-me-not Group

Dementia Support Group

The Royal Oak


Monday 5th May 2014

10 am to 3 pm

Due to the great success of our Welshpool Charity Shop, Whatever Next..? Healthy Friendships would like to announce the start of our very first Forget-me-not group in Welshpool. As from the 5th May 2014 our group will meet in the function room of The Royal Oak every Monday between 10 am. and 3 pm.

The group aims to support people who have a diagnosis of dementia and their carer’s. We will provide a friendly, supportive, fun environment  for people to meet and join in activities such as:-

  • Seated Exercise
  • Boccia (seated bowls)
  • Art & Crafts
  • Quizzes
  • Music and Singing
  • Reminiscence
  • Outings/pub lunches/trips
  • Educational/informative talks
  • Carer’s support group


If you would like to join our group or would like to volunteer please telephone 01686 626221 or 01938 558015 or call into Whatever Next..? Welshpool and talk to Barbara

Whatever Next..? Welshpool

Everyone at Whatever Next..? Welshpool wishes to thank the people of Welshpool for  the great success of the new charity shop.