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Man stole £40,000 from dementia-suffering mother

Brian Matthews has been given a two-year suspended sentence Credit: Metropolitan Police

A man stole more than £40,000 from his 98-year-old dementia suffering mother and then tried to sell her house when she was put into a home.

Winifred Matthews was left to live in squalor by her son Brian Matthews so her niece put her in a nursing home.

Once she was out of the way, Matthews went on to claim £20,000 worth of her pension and transferred a further £18,000 out of her bank account.

The 75-year-old then tried to fraudulently sell her house in Cranham, north east London, without her knowledge.

Matthews was convicted of two counts of fraud by abuse of position and one count of wilful neglect.

A judge handed him a two-year prison sentence and ordered him to repay £25,000. Matthews was also subjected to a six-month curfew between 7pm and 6am.

Detective Constable Ed Gooderson, of Havering Police, said: "Mrs Winifred Matthews was defrauded of her hard earned pension money and left in awful conditions by her unscrupulous son who took advantage of the fact that she was suffering from dementia. This, of course made her exploitation all the more cruel.

"This case highlights that the Met will vigorously pursue those who seek to abuse the vulnerable within our communities."

Mayor calls for more research into dementia as major charities and pharmaceutical companies meet in London

Mayor Boris Johnson has called for more investment into a International Dementia Research Institute. This comes as early analysis shows that tackling the problem of dementia via an institute could contribute £850 million to the UK economy and nearly 2000 jobs.

Today some of the leading pharmaceutical companies and charities will meet at City Hall to discuss the concept of an International Dementia Research Institute which would aim to speed up tackling the illness.

"Dementia is a major global challenge and has devastating consequences for the lives of affected people and their families, social care needs and economic prosperity. The London-Oxford-Cambridge 'golden triangle' has been at the forefront of groundbreaking medical and scientific research for decades, with some of the best universities in the world, a rich array of pharmaceutical companies, unrivalled connectivity and risk-hungry venture capitalists. An International Dementia Research Institute based here would boost our life sciences' offer, with enormous potential to deliver benefits for patients, families and other carers, while delivering huge savings to the economy."

– Boris Johnson, Mayor of London


Celebrity backing for Dementia campaign

With flashing lights, noisy streets and heaving crowds, London can sometimes be a bewildering place even for people who know what to expect. But imagine how confusing it must seem for someone living with dementia.

Today a charity launched a campaign to help make London the first dementia-friendly capital city in the world. Kate Moore from the Alzheimer's Society and the actress Ruta Gedmintas talk to Nina Hossain.

£1 million study to tackle dementia

London researchers are working to find the most effective way to treat patients with dementia.

A study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will look at the way memory clinics can be used to improve the quality of life of people with the condition, and their carers.

The £1 million pound study aims to tackle the rising cost of caring for more than 600,000 people in England with dementia.


Calls for more Dementia funding

Dementia UK says at a national level they're hearing David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt talk aboutmore funding for dementia. However, they're still not see it cascade down to the local level.

“Local authorities will say that there is care in place to support people with dementia. This may include Dementia Advisors or the Prime Minister’s new initiative ‘Dementia Friends’. However, services are not joined up and in many places families are left in the dark about what services are available to them. That’s why Admiral Nursing is so unique as this specialist support bridges the health and social care system and guides families to the relevant support,be it financial or practical, that they require”.

– Barbara Stephens, CEO of Dementia UK

Dementia Nurses shortage

Dementia Care Nurses Credit: PA

Dementia UK is claiming that people with dementia and their family carers are missing out on vital care and support due to limited access to Admiral Nurses. Latest figures reveal that there are only 102 Admiral Nurses available to the estimated 800,000 people diagnosed with dementia in the UK

That means there's a 1 in 7,000 chance of having access to the service. In many London boroughs there are no local Admiral Nursing services at all - just nine of the city’s 33 boroughs are served by an Admiral Nurse.

Admiral Nurses are senior mental health nurses specialising in dementia who support families from diagnosis to end of life care. The charity says it faces a constant battle for funding which is exacerbated byuncertainty within the health system and unwillingness to invest innew services.

Visit timeforacuppa for information on how to help raise awareness and funds for Admiral Nurses.

Look out for signs of dementia

As families gather over Christmas, a London-based charity is urging people to look out for signs of dementia in elderly relatives.

The Alzeimers Society says initial signs may include short-term memory loss, problems with thinking or reasoning, or unexplained anxiety, anger or depression.

Anyone concerned that relatives may have dementia is being advised to visit their GP for a proper diagnosis.

Research by the charity shows that 800,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia, this figure is predicted to soar to one million within a decade.