Cure The Care System: Calling for better social care for people affected by dementia
This Dementia Action Week we are calling on the Government to cure the care system now. This means providing quality social care that is free and easy to access no matter where you live.
We need to ensure people affected by dementia can get support that is focussed on what matters to them. It should be delivered by trained and supported staff and draw upon all available sources of support where people live.
You can help us call on the Government to cure the care system by signing our petition.
Curing the care system
We know that the right care and support services can make a huge difference for people with dementia and their families. People affected by dementia can draw on professional support to help them live their lives how they want to. It can enable families to spend more time in their most important roles – that of husbands, wives, sons and daughters.
But decades of underfunding and neglect have led to a care system where people struggle to access the care they need. People face catastrophic costs to pay for care, and in many cases, experience care that isn’t of the quality they deserve to see for their loved ones.
Now, as we start to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, with many people with dementia experiencing a worsening of symptoms, we need a care system capable of giving people the support they need and deserve.
We are asking the Government to keep the promise made by Boris Johnson in his first speech as Prime Minister when he said "we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all".
Quality social care for people with dementia
The need to invest in people and communities has never been more urgent. We need governments in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to prioritise and invest in social care now - creating the support systems that we can all draw on to live well.
In our recent discussion paper, A Future for Personalised Care, we set out what current evidence shows ‘good looks like’ for social care for people affected by dementia.
We know currently social care doesn’t always focus on what matters to people. It can be too transactional, driven by time and task, and not enough by connection, purpose or genuine outcomes. It might be there to support people with the basic personal care that helps them get out of bed, get dressed and use the toilet – but that alone doesn’t mean people are empowered to live meaningful lives.
Care that focuses on what matters to people
Organised well, social care can build the ecosystem of support that we can draw on when we need some extra help. Key to a new vision for social care is care that focuses on what matters to people, support that ensures their life has meaning and purpose. This must start with people with dementia being in control of their own care and setting their own goals.
The Covid pandemic shone a spotlight on just how important contact with family members and other loved ones is. It affects the health and wellbeing of people with dementia and we must learn lessons from this.
We need care that supports people to build and strengthen relationships with loved ones, family members or people in their community.
There are many things that can support good quality care. Ensuring care staff have the necessary skills and knowledge in dementia care and personalised care is crucial. Staff need to be supported in working conditions that value staff and foster good practices. Policy makers must consider all of these elements. Importantly, they must listen to people affected by dementia and others who use social care, and staff on the frontline, to inform their plans for reform.
We are calling on the Government to commit to:
- Publication of a clear, budgeted, plan with milestones, with reform underway this year
- Ensuring reforms consider not just funding, but also improving the quality of care that people receive.
- Provide quality social care, that’s free and easy to access, no matter where you live – like the NHS.
Sign our petition to Cure The Care System
We need the Government to provide quality social care, that is free and easy to access, no matter where you live.