Following the Queen’s speech today, Alzheimer’s Society’s Chief Executive, Jeremy Hughes, welcomes the pledge for a consultation on social care – but warns the promise of a consultation cannot be used to delay action. We urgently need workable solutions to the crisis in dementia care.
In a YouGov poll carried out on Wednesday 14 June, social care came out above both education and crime when the public were questioned on the UK’s most pressing issues. If the Government does not now address social care, nearly three quarters (72%) of people would feel worried, angry or frightened.
Dementia has long been the most discriminated against condition, dismissed as ‘social’ rather than ‘medical’, with the majority of those people affected having to fund their own care compared to other conditions like cancer, heart disease and diabetes. People with dementia are the biggest users of social care, making up 60% of homecare recipients and 70% of care home places. Many typically lose £100,000 over their lifetime on care costs, with nothing to leave to loved ones, simply for having the misfortune of developing dementia.
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Every week, hundreds of thousands of people with dementia are already paying through the nose for the basic care they need to live day-to-day.
“The dementia tax debate and ensuing election result sent a thundering message to the Prime Minister that empty promises and platitudes won’t suffice. The public simply won’t accept a drawn out consultation that leads to no resolution. We have waited long enough for action and workable solutions. The Prime Minister should recognise there is support across all political parties for action on dementia.
“A long-term solution for social care must create a fair and transparent division of responsibility between government and the individual. Alzheimer’s Society stands ready to help shape these solutions. The voices of people with dementia must be heard and listened to if we are to see a health and care system that works for all well into the future.”
Already Alzheimer’s Society’s petition calling on the general public to unite to end the ‘dementia tax’ has reached over 28,000 signatures. To sign the petition visit: www.alzheimers.org.uk/fixdementiacare