The social care minister has said this is a ‘moment in time’ for action to support those living with dementia, and it is not an inevitable part of aging.

He reinforced the commitment to improve the diagnostics, prevention, research and provision of care for dementia sufferers, acknowledging that about a third of cases are estimated to be preventable.

Dementia affects one in six people over 80 and a significant number of care-home residents; an aging population means it is growing.

And although the likelihood of developing dementia increases significantly with age, early or young-onset dementia affects thousands of people under 65.

The Alzheimer’s Society estimates more than 22,000 people in Hampshire live with dementia, and it could be more than 31,000 by 2030 – with 1.6 million nationally by 2040.

That is why local support is so important, and Dementia Friendly Petersfield raises awareness about dementia and provides help through its regular support groups, including a music group, a friendship group and an entertainment group.

There will also be an information day on Friday, July 2, at the United Reformed Church in Petersfield, to promote the support available in the town.

Details about Winton House Memory Café and the Petersfield Dementia Choir will also be available.

Dementia-friendly Alton has also restarted its Legions Legends, Memory Lane Singing, its Memory Café, and Hearts and Minds Choir, and has teamed up with the Happy Healing Hut to promote a wider support framework for mental health and well-being, for the young and elderly.

Dementia can be very isolating – not just for those with it but also for their carers – so support groups can be a lifeline. The Carer Support and Dementia Advisory service is another important way to get help and advice via phone, online and face-to-face with a trained dementia advisor.

We are now hearing a great deal more about the potential link between concussion and dementia, and a government select committee is looking at links between sport and long-term brain injury.

We have been hearing evidence from professional sportsmen and women, sport governing bodies and organisations, and medical experts working in this complex field.

We must look carefully at all the data and evidence to ensure the welfare of professionals and amateurs in these sports.??

The Alzheimer’s Society has led the formation of Sport United Against Dementia, to bring together representatives from professional sporting bodies, governing organisations and clubs as well as individuals to tackle dementia collectively.

And in 2017, the government, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK, launched the UK Dementia Research Institute, with £290m funding.

Government is also supporting the £79m Accelerating Detection of Disease project that sees the NHS, industry and charities support research into early diagnosis of disease, including dementia.?

And there is a commitment to double research funding to more than £160m each year by?2030 as swiftly as is possible.

And the Alzheimer’s Society continues to expand its Dementia Friends initiative that has been pivotal in increasing public awareness and understanding of dementia, with more than three million people joining the scheme.

I have been privileged to help run Dementia Friends awareness sessions, and would urge anyone with an interest to join and learn about the practical, and often small, things that can be done to help those with the condition.