By 2021, nearly a million people in the UK will be living with dementia and, worryingly, our social care system is predicted to face an annual funding gap of £2.3bn by this time.

With no way to slow or stop the diseases that cause dementia, it is set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer.

People with dementia are forced to rely on the cash-starved social care system to support them during the progressive condition.

So why does investment in dementia research focus on a cure for future generations, while less than 5% of funding goes to researching the best care possible for all those affected today?

The need for a cure for dementia is as pressing as ever, but we also need research into care. Improving knowledge among health and social care professionals is just as important as developing medical treatments.

We need professional networks across health and social care to better involve the workforce in dementia research. Also, while it’s standard practice for dementia researchers to involve people with the condition in their projects, this engagement must extend to those who care for them if we are to develop solutions for everyone affected by dementia.

The prime minister’s challenge on dementia 2020 for England and the World Health Organisation’s global dementia action plan call for a doubling of research into dementia by 2025, but we need that research to tackle care as well as cure.

At Alzheimer’s Society, we’re doing just that by investing more than £30m in research across dementia care, cure and prevention.

People with dementia must get the care they deserve.

Help us beat dementia. People with dementia or memory problems, their carers and anyone who is interested can sign up to Join Dementia Research at

Doug Brown is chief policy and research officer at Alzheimer’s Society