Alice Hardy explains how the Insurance United Against Dementia initiative is funding research -- and how you can get involved
Every three minutes, someone in the UK develops dementia; and one in three born today will develop dementia at some point in our lives. Despite these statistics, there is currently no cure and only limited treatments available for the condition, which strips people of their memories and abilities. It is vital that we tackle these shocking statistics by investing in groundbreaking research to find ways for us to protect ourselves and our loved ones from dementia.
It is also crucial that our profession -- which exists to protect people in times of crisis -- understands and supports employees and customers who are dealing with the difficult realities of dementia today. Insurance United Against Dementia (IUAD) is creating a unique platform for this, by supporting businesses to become more dementia-friendly and by raising funds for critical research that will bring us closer to treatments, prevention and a cure for dementia.
Dementia research has always been chronically underfunded. Researchers have the tools, technology and talent that they need to thrive, but have been hampered by a lack of available funding. This is not a sustainable approach to the biggest health and social care challenge of our time -- a challenge that costs society £26.3bn every year.
Insurance United Against Dementia is an Alzheimer's Society movement created and led by leaders in the insurance profession to tackle this challenge head on. The campaign is raising £10m for dementia research, much of which will go on to fund the groundbreaking UK Dementia Research Institute. The UK Dementia Research Institute, which officially opened its doors in July 2018, is a brand-new facility that unites six world-class universities across the country to create transformative change for the lives of people affected by dementia. At full capacity, the Institute will house about 700 researchers, all dedicating their efforts to find out more about how best to care for people living with dementia today and to find a cure for those who will be diagnosed tomorrow.
By uniting together, the efforts of every single insurer will have an incredible impact on the future of dementia.
Alice Hardy is senior corporate development manager at the Alzheimer's Society
How can you make a difference?
Become a Dementia Friend
Dementia Friends is a social action movement led by Alzheimer's Society that is transforming the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition. By becoming a Dementia Friend, you and your colleagues can better support friends, family, colleagues and your local community. All you need to do is attend an information session, or complete an online version, to find out more about dementia, its effects and how we can all take small actions to help those affected by dementia. IUAD can also support you to roll out the initiative across your business. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Insurance Day of Giving
On Thursday 8 November, the insurance profession is uniting to raise as much as possible for dementia research in just 24 hours. Dubbed the 'Insurance Day of Giving' by creator Andy Tedstone of PIB Insurance, this is a unique opportunity for our sector to make an incredible impact for years to come. It is easy to get involved as an individual or a company -- by making a donation to the dedicated Just Giving page, or by hosting fundraising events for staff across your offices. Toolkits will be provided with fundraising ideas and the IUAD team will be tracking progress throughout the day to ensure some friendly competition -- with prizes to be won! It is also a chance to raise vital awareness of dementia, helping our profession to become more dementia-friendly. IUAD will help to signpost you and your colleagues to information and advice, ensuring that those affected by dementia know where to turn when they are in need of support.
Money raised on the day will go directly to the UK Dementia Research Institute. If you or your business would like to get involved in the Insurance Day of Giving, please contact email@example.com for further information.
There a number of further ways to support the IUAD campaign, from attending an event to spreading the word. Please visit alzheimers.org.uk/iuad to find out more.
The CII has partnered with Insurance United Against Dementia as part of its focus on diversity and inclusion and our purpose to build public trust in a united profession. Tali Shlomo, people engagement director at the CII, said, "The CII and our profession recognises that we must ensure that consumers in vulnerable circumstances are treated not only fairly, but with empathy and sensitivity to their circumstances which is now a growing priority for many organisations.
"It is our role as a professional body to raise awareness and provide practical ways we can all get involved."