Paul Edwards, Director of Clinical Services at Dementia UK, comments on yesterday’s reports on the staggering number of care home deaths:
“The fact that we are only now being made aware of just how significant this pandemic has affected people working and living in care homes is testament to how social care is viewed – nowhere near held in the same regard as healthcare. However care homes play a vital function, providing day-to-day support to some of the most vulnerable groups within society, which includes people with dementia and their families. More PPE equipment, access to testing and funding, for example, would benefit not just care homes but wider society too; from ensuring care home residents are safeguarded, to preventing avoidable hospital admissions to improving the mental health of families who may be worried that their relatives in care do not have the support they need. It’s time we see social care as part of healthcare and vice versa.
“Despite how staggering these statistics are, we should never lose sight of the fact that behind every one of these numbers is a person and behind every person is a family. Many people with dementia are hidden within statistics already, deprived the opportunity to be seen as people deserving of support before things reach a crisis. Our Admiral Nurses are working day in and day out on our Helpline to support families affected by the condition, but more work across sectors and systems undoubtedly needs to be done.”