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Cost of dementia care to treble by 2040 report says

The cost of social care for people living with dementia will nearly treble by 2040, a report by the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre (CPEC) has found.

The report, which was commissioned by Alzheimer’s Society, found that by 2040 the number of people living with dementia in the UK is expected to nearly double (to 1.6 million) and the cost of social care is expected to almost triple, increasing from £15.7 to £45.4 billion. With the responsibility for covering the costs falling to people living with dementia and their families.

The analysis, led by Raphael Wittenberg, associate professorial research fellow at CPEC, found that the number of people living with more advanced dementia will rise more rapidly than the number of people living with mild and moderate dementia. Meaning people will have higher associated care needs and more people will need social care for longer, increasing average social care costs. Mr Wittenberg said:

‘Our modelling shows that all four countries of the UK face very substantial costs of dementia. Northern Ireland is projected to have the largest increase, with the number of people living with dementia rising by 95%, while in Wales it is an increase of 70%, the smallest increase among the four countries.

‘This is because the older population is projected to increase much faster in Northern Ireland than in the other three countries.’

The total cost of dementia to the UK economy has risen to £34.7 billion and will continue to rise to £94.1 billion by 2040. This includes costs to the NHS, paid social care and unpaid care.

The study also estimates that families are providing £13.9 billion a year in unpaid care for people living with dementia, which is projected to increase to £35.7 billion by 2040.

Philip Scott’s mum Sylvia, 90, is in the late stages of dementia, and her house was sold to help pay for her care. He said:

‘Mum wouldn’t survive more than 48 hours without nursing care. Why has she had to spend £160,000 to make sure that doesn’t happen?

‘The whole process of having to argue again and again why my mum needed support was really harrowing. It took three attempts before we managed to get Continuing Health Care funding for her, and even now we are afraid that the funding will be taken away.

‘People with dementia have been sidelined and treated very differently to those with other diseases.’

Alzheimer’s Society launched its manifesto, ‘Demanding Action on Dementia’, ahead of the general election. It’s calling on the government to radically reform dementia care to address the specific needs of people with dementia, ending the daily injustice they, and their families, face in accessing the good quality care to which they are entitled.

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Society, said families affected by dementia are at breaking point. She said:

‘Dementia is heartbreaking for families. It’s not right that those going through it have to battle to get the care they need on top of battling the disease.

‘From the working mum struggling to find hundreds of pounds every week to ‘top up’ her mum’s council-funded care home place, to the woman who had to sell her home of 50 years to pay for her husband’s care – families affected by dementia are already at breaking point. With costs set to treble in the next two decades, how on earth will they cope?

‘The cost of dementia care is too much for an individual to bear. It should be spread between us – just like schools, the NHS and other public services.

‘Every party must go into this election with a solid plan to radically reform dementia care. Families in crisis need action, and they need it now.’

Phot Credit – Pixabay

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