125 years of savings needed to 'live well' with dementia

The unachievable cost of dementia care is revealed in a new report that also highlights the loneliness of carers.

The unachievable cost of dementia care is revealed in a new report which also highlights the loneliness of carers

Rsearch has found carers feel cut off from society due to their caring commitments for
someone living with dementia. Picture: iStock

The Alzheimer’s Society estimates it would take someone 125 years to save for the typical bill for dementia social care – this is based on saving £800 per year to ‘live well’ with the condition.

More than 3,850 people with dementia, carers and the public provided their views via online surveys or face-to-face interviews for the report, Turning Up the Volume: Unheard Voices of People with Dementia.

'Cut off'

More than one in four family carers said they feel cut off from society due to their caring commitments, the research found.

Half of people living with dementia worry about being a burden, and only 17% of people feel there is enough support for those caring for someone with dementia.

Dementia UK admiral nurse professional and practice development lead Rachel Thompson said: ‘This report clearly highlights the immense challenges that people who have dementia and their families already face and without significant further investment, addressing inequalities in funding through social care is only likely to get worse.

Cost of care

Our admiral nurse dementia helpline receives increasing numbers of call from people who are struggling to access the right support following a diagnosis, and are desperately worried about how they will access good quality care due to the increasing cost.’

Ms Thompson added that dementia should receive the same resources as any other long-term condition rather than relying on an over-burdened social care system.

The report, which was published ahead of dementia awareness week beginning on 14 May, also highlights poor quality of care standards.

One relative said: ‘The care at home wasn’t working right. They couldn’t always feed them in the time they had, so very often they [parents] hadn’t either eaten or drunk. They [carers] didn’t always have time to change the bedding. They would either forget to do the meds or miss the meds.’

Government challenged

Alzheimer’s Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes said: ‘On behalf of people who have dementia, I challenge the next government to create a long term, sustainable system for funding dementia care.

'Currently, many people with dementia feel deserted by the state, and must rely on family members and carers for the support they need.’

The report also points out that when people with dementia are supported they can live fulfilled lives.

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