On September 10th the Alzheimer’s society published Dementia UK: The Second Edition, prepared by the London School of Economics and King’s College London. The report is the most comprehensive review of dementia in the UK to date. It contains a number of key findings including the astronomical cost of dementia care to some families, with many paying as much as two-thirds of the bill, estimated at £5.8 billion, to provide basic care for loved ones.
It also highlights the increasing number of people being diagnosed with dementia in the UK. Consequently the Alzheimer’s society have launched a campaign ahead of next year’s General Elections, calling on the Government to make dementia care free on the NHS, similar to other long term health conditions such as cancer treatment etc.
Livability is currently working with the Alzheimer’s Society to produce a resources pack for churches on how to become dementia friendly- particularly within Black Asian Ethnic Minority communities.
In response to the new research, Dr Trevor Adams of Livability’s Dementia Friendly Churches programme said:
‘Families and friends put in an estimated 1.3 billion hours of unpaid care the financial equivalent of £11.6 billion if the state were to pay for it. This is a staggering figure.
In our experience, families and friends providing support for people with dementia often find themselves isolated, tired and grateful for the extra support where it can provided.
We agree that the dementia care should be free on the NHS as it is unacceptable families-already under considerable strain- should have the additional stress of paying for dementia care especially for basic care. This is something that urgently needs to be addressed in the long term especially with an ever increasing ageing population.
The church increasingly provides support for people with dementia and their families- with a number of churches opening up dementia cafes, hosting dementia friendly church services and offering access to practical support and information/ resources to those in the local community that might be affected. Our Dementia Friendly Churches programme works with an increasing number of churches that are already doing great work to support families and believe that the wider community has a vital role to play in the future of dementia care however this can’t compensate for proper investment in dementia care where everyone benefits. ‘
The joint resources pack for churches will be available later this year.
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