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Amanda Attrell

Associate FCILEx - Head of Later Life - Brighton & Hove

16th July 2019

Dear next Prime Minister, it’s time to address the Dementia Care Crisis

There is mounting evidence that there is a Dementia Care Crisis. As discussed in our earlier blog “What is the cost of social care and is it about to change?” the Conservative Government promised a Social Care Green Paper in 2017. Two years later, we are still waiting for reforms.

The cost of living with dementia

The Alzheimer’s Society published analysis last week showing that people living with dementia have spent approximately £15 billion of their own money on care over the past two years as a result of the Government’s failure to address the issue. The average cost of care for a person living with dementia is £100,000.

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee estimates that an extra £8 billion a year is needed to bring the adult social care system back up to standards. Their report highlighted that the system is particularly unfair for those with a dementia diagnosis who have to pay for their care, whereas someone diagnosed with cancer gets their treatment for free.

People not receiving care plan reviews

The report also estimates that around a million adults who need social care aren’t receiving it. Healthwatch England published new data showing that councils are struggling to meet key targets for dementia care, including the requirement to assess a person’s care plan on an annual basis. Last year less than half of people living with dementia received a care plan review.

Unpaid carers covering the cost of dementia care

The failings of the current social care system means that there is growing pressure on unpaid carers who are left to provide high levels of support to their loved ones. A recent Carer’s UK survey found that 68% of the 7,500 unpaid carers who took part reported that they have had to dip into their own income or savings to help cover the cost of caring for someone else.

After the shocking findings of the Alzheimer’s Society were reported, 93 MPs signed an open letter to the government calling for an urgent reform of the social care system. The letter said “The injustice of people battling to get the care they so desperately need, while also battling the devastating effects of dementia, must be addressed now.”

You too can sign the Alzheimer’s Society’s letter to the next Prime Minister, urging him to take action on the Dementia Care Crisis by clicking here.

How Rix & Kay can support you

Whilst we wait and hope for some meaningful reforms, Rix & Kay’s specialist Later Life Team can offer you guidance and support following a dementia diagnosis.

We can help you to put Lasting Powers of Attorney in place so that people you trust can manage your financial affairs or make decisions about your care and medical treatment should you lose the ability to make your own decisions in the future. We can advise you about the complex charging for care rules, how best to plan for future care needs and discuss legitimate ways that assets can be safeguarded from the future cost of care.

For more information contact Amanda Attrell, Head of Rix & Kay’s Later Life Team, based in Brighton & Hove. Amanda is a Dementia Friends Champion.

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