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PA OPINION

Challenge Dementia Prize: An innovative approach to tackle Dementia

PA Consulting Group is partnering with Essex County Council to transform the way people live with dementia.

Someone develops dementia every three minutes in the UK, according to the Alzheimer’s Society. As the number of people living with dementia in the UK is forecast to top 1 million by 2025, it will soon touch most of our lives through friends and family.

Essex County Council is taking an innovative approach to address this issue through its Challenge Dementia Prize, which is open to any organisation or person from anywhere in the world with a creative idea to support people living with dementia. There’s particular interest in sustainable solutions that will work now and for future generations, incorporating technology as part of everyday living.

Improving life for people with dementia using technology is something we’ve worked on before at PA, most notably through our Argenti care technology partnership.The partnership delivers frontline care services through technology to over 12,000 vulnerable adults across Hampshire and Barnet. 

Through separate work with Hampshire County Council, we found that those with advanced dementia are more likely to reject new care technology, getting very little benefit from the service. But if you offer the technology to people who have been recently diagnosed, they embrace it. As a result, over 1,000 people use our care technology service, with four out of five living independently at home without the need for additional services. Furthermore, 90 per cent of the carers supporting these people say they worry less, meaning they’re better able to support their loved one.

I’m now lucky enough to be sitting on the judging panel of the Challenge Dementia Prize and am genuinely excited to see what other interesting and innovative ideas are submitted. I’ve seen what a difference technology can make to people’s lives when used correctly.

And PA is ready to provide a unique support package to the ten finalists, including expertise in adult social care, front-line care technology service delivery, service/product design and development, business planning and financial planning. Using our Global Innovation and Technology Centre in Cambridge and our partnership with the Centre of Excellence for Technology Enabled Care, we have people standing by to support the finalists.

The closing date for applications is 13 April, with 10 finalists being selected. Each finalist will receive a grant of £5,000 and access to expertise from PA and other organisations, while the winner will receive £100,000 to invest in their idea.

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