At Alzheimer’s Society, we believe that we must – and can – Fix Dementia Care. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Three simple words but actually quite a daunting task.
You’ll have seen the stories in the news over the last few weeks about the enormous costs of care borne by people with dementia and their families. Our estimates put the figure at almost £15 billion over the last two years.
The money to pay usually comes out of the life savings of people living with dementia, the sale of treasured family homes and through families clubbing together to pay for the care their loved one needs, and deserves.
For too long, the dementia care crisis has been hidden behind closed doors, lived by people who rarely have opportunities to be heard.
Highlighting the dementia care crisis
We are determined to bring these stories to decision-makers across the main political parties – and we recently did so by hosting a photo exhibition in Parliament, featuring the stories of 12 families affected by the dementia care crisis.
120 MPs attended the event, where they spoke with many of these families and took action in support of our campaign – strong evidence that we are building the cross-party support we need to tackle this problem.
We know that it means so much to people experiencing the difficulties of dementia care to have their stories told.
Sandra, who was featured in the exhibition and whose mum, Jean, has Alzheimer’s, pointed this out after the event, saying:
“I was so pleased to be given the opportunity by Alzheimer’s Society to take my experience of the broken support system endured by my mum and myself directly to the MPs themselves, something I never thought I would be able to do. I hope this is the beginning of helping others who are facing the same challenges as ourselves.”
We also want to draw attention to these stories outside Parliament, and make sure that they get the media attention they deserve. The public needs to know about the challenges so many families face – and the families facing these impossible situations need to know that they are not alone.
The catastrophic cost of care
To that end, we have been working with the Daily Mail on their End the Dementia Care Cost Betrayal campaign.
Every day we are contacted by people with dementia and their families who are struggling to access the care they need. They experience stress, anguish and exhaustion in fighting for appropriate support.
All too often, we hear of care that is of poor quality, or bureaucracies that stop people getting the care they need, and have to pay for at enormous – sometimes catastrophic – cost.
Our support of the Daily Mail’s campaign will ensure that we are shedding a light on these battles, which have been fought in private for far too long.
You can help fix dementia care
We want the public to know about the dementia care crisis, and we want them to take action.
You can help us by adding your name to our public letter to the new Prime Minister, demanding that dementia care is a priority for the Government.