I am joining Debbie in urging the Department of Health and Social Care to set up a ‘Dementia Fund’ to bring much-needed finance into the social care system in order to allow for a better quality of care for people affected by this condition.
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, 850,000 people currently suffer from the dementia, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. This will soar to 2 million by 2051 – that’s 225,000 developing it every three minutes.
However without a cure, we must make sure that the sufferers have the best care possible. Currently, individuals and families with relatives with dementia are having to spend £100,000 just for the care alone and, with rising inequality and people having to go to food banks, this can be financially devastating. People are having to choose between eating and heating their homes or paying for the care which their relatives need in order to survive with this condition. The Government needs to step in and put some additional funding into the system to help with this crisis.
Back in 2015, under David Cameron, the Government set a challenge to make England the best country in the world for dementia care and support, the best country in which people with dementia, their carers and families could live, and for the UK to become the best place in the world to undertake research into dementia and other neuro-degenerative diseases. With an implementation plan, the Government and other national bodies would take action to improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their carers. This included risk reduction, dementia awareness, social action and health care. It is clear that, with the current problems with dementia care and funding within the NHS, something needs to be done urgently if the Government is to fulfil its promises of 2015 and make England the best place in the world for dementia care, alongside lessening the burden on already-stretched family resources and time.
If the Government is serious about hitting targets set for 2020 on dementia in England, it needs to include this vital Dementia Fund in the forthcoming spending review in order to break the deadlock on reforming the social care system and ending unfairness facing people with dementia.