£8bn needed now for dementia care

Dear Sir, — Dementia care costs in Cheshire are to soar by more than 70% over next decade as pressure on families increase The latest figures for Cheshire East estimate care costs will rise from their current level of £238m to £420m in 2030, an increase of 76.2%. Over the same period, care costs in Cheshire West and Chester are predicted to rise by 71.9%, from £192m to £330m.
The shocking prediction highlights calls by Alzheimer’s Society, the UK’s leading dementia charity, for immediate social care investment to be a key pillar of the Government’s forthcoming spring budget on 11th March.
The figures, calculated by the London School of Economics and Political Science, combine costs to the NHS, social care and the value of unpaid care provided by family members.
Worryingly, across England it is estimated that around 60% of social care costs are typically met by people living with dementia and their families because they do not qualify for state support.
In Cheshire East these social care costs are to rise from £102m to £187.9m by 2030, an increase of 84.3%. And in Cheshire West and Chester the estimated increase over the same period is 79.7%, up from £81.6m to £146.6m.
As part of its on-going Fix Dementia Care campaign, Alzheimer’s Society is demanding urgent investment, backing calls for £8bn in extra funding for adult social care in England by 2020/21.
The charity estimates at least £2.65bn of that amount could be spent on care for people living with dementia to improve the devastating financial and emotional impact they and their families face when accessing care.
The social care system is unfair and unfit for people living with dementia. Alzheimer’s Society is campaigning to end this injustice.
We are calling on the Government to commit to £8bn in immediate funding to bring care to an acceptable level, as well as a clear timetable for long-term reform that provides a fairer system and ensures access to quality care.
For far too long, families have been privately struggling to care for their loved ones with dementia, left to pick up the pieces of a social care system that’s coming apart at the seams. This can’t go on any longer. The Government must live up to its promise to fix dementia care.
Across England, care costs are predicted to rise from their current level of £29.4bn to £50.4bn by 2030, an increase of more than 70%.
At the same time, the number of people living with dementia across the UK is expected to rise from around 850,000 to 1.2m by 2030.
The report predicts that as our population ages, a higher proportion of people with dementia will have higher care needs for longer, driving up the average amount spent on care.
Previous research by Alzheimer’s Society has shown that someone with dementia will typically have to spend £100,000 on their care. Many are forced to sell their homes to pay for it.
Alzheimer’s Society is calling for dementia care to be funded like other public services, such as the NHS and education, where the cost is shared across society, protecting individuals and their families from the devastating costs of specialist dementia care.
Today, the charity releases a hard-hitting animated film telling the story of one family’s financial plight to get the care their loved one with dementia needs. You can view it by visiting Youtube
To find out more about Alzheimer’s Society’s Fix Dementia Care campaign, and to write to your MP asking them to take action, visit alzheimers.org.uk/FixBudget — Yours faithfully, 

KEN OXLEY
Alzheimer’s Society.