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What have UK political parties said about dementia care in their manifestos?

The next Government will be in power during a critical time for social care. Here, we look at what each party has committed to in their manifestos, and what it means for people affected by dementia.

What have the Conservative party said about dementia care?

In the manifesto

The Conservative manifesto commits to cross-party talks to find agreement on how to solve the social care crisis.  

What does it mean for people affected by dementia? 

Cross-party consensus is important, as it means that the new social care system is less likely to be overhauled by subsequent governments.

The Conservative Party has said that people preventing people selling their homes to pay for care would be a ‘red line’ in these talks. This is positive, as it is a huge concern for many, and especially challenging for people who did not anticipate how high their care costs would be.

However, the focus on cross-party talks could mean further delay to meaningful change in the system.  

What have the Labour party said about dementia care?

In the manifesto

The main focus of Labour’s social care policy is the introduction of free personal care for all older people, providing help with daily tasks such as getting in and out of bed, bathing and washing, and preparing meals in their own homes and residential care. 

The manifesto also mentions a cap on personal contributions to care costs.

What does it mean for people affected by dementia? 

This would improve the situation for people affected by dementia, particularly as Labour have explicitly said that eligibility criteria should be designed to recognise the impact on people with dementia.

However, more could be done to improve the social care system – free care at the point of use would be the best way to keep costs down.

This is why Alzheimer’s Society has called for social care to be funded like the NHS, schools and other public services, where the cost is spread out across society.  

What have the Liberal Democrats said about dementia care?

In the manifesto

The Liberal Democrat manifesto mentions a cap on care costs, and establishing cross-party consensus.

What does it mean for people affected by dementia? 

A cap on care costs would prevent the worst excess costs for dementia care. However, it’s not clear from the manifesto how many people would get this support. If a cap is set too high, it would fail to support the majority of people affected by dementia.

A cap on care would require a huge amount of administration and there is a risk it would not recognise the true cost of dementia care (for example, if the cost of top-up fees paid by people with dementia were not taken into account).  

Demanding Action on Dementia 

We want dementia to continue to be a talking point up until election day. The more politicians who are aware of the big challenges facing people affected by the condition, the more likely the next Government is to take action to address the social care crisis. 

You can help us carry on the conversation by downloading our commitment card, and using the suggested questions to ask your candidates about what their party will do to improve dementia care.  

Will your candidate help Fix Dementia Care?

Download a Commitment Card with suggested questions to ask your candidates about dementia care.

Download card
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9 comments

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Do any government ministers know the effects that dementia have on their family? But why should we complain about about this it may show that dementia sufferes only are not alone with incurable conditions.

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The SNP are the 3rd largest party at Westminster, but this article only mentions Conservative, Labour and the Lib Dems. Is this Alzheimers UK or Alzheimers England?

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Hi Christopher, thanks for your comment.

Alzheimer's Society campaigns and provides services across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Although our dementia information, of course, is available to all.

For campaigns and services in Scotland, it's best to look at what Alzheimer Scotland is doing:
https://www.alzscot.org/

Hope this helps,
Alzheimer's Society blog team

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Dementia will eventually be either cured or controlled, it depends on how much you want to spend on it or how much more YOU are prepared fund the Magnificent NHS IN YOUR TAXES.
Is there a way that individuals can donate to the NHS. I know that I can donate to research (and do), but the NHS?

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There are lots of illnesses and health issues that are not curable so why should people suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia be penalised when it comes to their care.

These are people who have contributed all their lives paying in to the NHS and it should be mandatory that they receive free care.

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Cancer treatment is on the NHS, so why is it that people living with dementia don't get this? It's just as devastating, but dementia can't be cured where as some cancers can.

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I think that's exactly the point Pam. It can't be cured and as there is no set end point, they can't afford it! Sad for all.of us affected

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Consensus among political parties is 100% necessary but whether this is obtainable is another matter. Labour saying we will pay without costing this promise is unrealistic & not helpful to anyone. Of course we need free care for any medical need. This is what our NHS should be doing but they do not give many people their Continuing Healthcare Benefits ( CHC ) without a fight! The NHS needs to be investigated independently to see if greater efficiency can be achieved before it is reformed by Act of Parliament in my opinion. Its currently working on a model invented 70 years ago which is outdated because it does not work for our much larger & aged population. A Royal Commission would be a start?
NHS do have CHC but its very difficult to get. I won a fight in 1994/5 & offer advice on a website at
https://www. continuinghealthcare.wordpress.com/
Preparation before Assessment is essential.
Best wishes. Peter Garside

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Thanks for sharing your experience Peter!

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or indeed any type of dementia does not carry automatic eligibility for CHC, as much as we would like it to. Eligibility for CHC funding is never ’condition specific’ and relies upon identifying the person’s needs in line with the criteria laid out by the Department of Health.

Here at Alzheimer’s Society, we suggest that the best way for people to access NHS Continuing healthcare (CHC) if they think they are eligible or they represent someone who they think is eligible, is to inform themselves fully of the CHC criteria before the process starts.

For anyone looking for more information, our page ‘Tips on preparing your case for NHS continuing healthcare’ should prove useful (https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/help-dementia-care/nhs-contin…) - we also have a free downloadable booklet with further information (https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/sites/default/files/migrate/downloads/whe…).

- Alzheimer's Society blog team

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