Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, recently joined over ninety Members of Parliament at an Alzheimer’s Society event, to help launch their report - ‘Dementia: the true cost’.
The event, which was held on Wednesday 23rd May as part of Dementia Action Week (21st – 27th May), gave MPs the opportunity to learn more about how they can support Alzheimer’s Society’s work to fix dementia care. At the event, Giles also signed a letter to Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, calling on him to address the issues of cost, quality and access to care for people with dementia in the Government’s upcoming Green Paper on social care reform.
Alzheimer’s Society has been campaigning to fix dementia care to ensure that everyone with dementia receives good quality care when they need it. Their new report highlights the far-reaching impact of the broken social care system on people with dementia. This report is based on testimony and evidence from people affected by dementia, social care professionals and dementia lead nurses, and outlines urgent areas for the Government to address.
Dementia is one of the biggest health and social challenges that the UK faces. With one person diagnosed every three minutes, almost everyone knows someone affected. Yet, with no drugs to cure or slow down dementia, it’s social care not the NHS that people with dementia rely on every day. In the UK, three fifths of people using homecare and 70% of people in care homes live with dementia. Dementia is among the most complex conditions that the social care system has to support, yet too many people with the condition are struggling to access good quality care at a fair price.
So, while much progress has been made to becoming a dementia friendly UK, including 2.4 million Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends trained globally and over 350 dementia friendly communities across the UK, more needs to be done.
“I know that fixing dementia care is important issue for many people in the Clacton constituency, and I was proud to represent them at this important event. We must do more to fix dementia care, as one million people will have dementia by 2021. Moreover, as someone who watched his mother destroyed by this terrible disease, I know that it is vital that we are able to deliver high quality social care to everyone that needs it, and deliver it at a fair price.”
Sally Copley, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Alzheimer’s Society said:
“It is fantastic to see MPs from across parliament uniting with us to champion the voices of people with dementia, and call for reform of our broken social care system.
“This Dementia Action Week, as we’re asking everyone across the UK to take actions big or small to help people with dementia, it’s brilliant to see positive action from people and we’re looking forward to working with Giles to respond to the public demand for change. Our Fix Dementia Care campaign has exposed the poor quality care that people w ith dementia are currently receiving, and this must end now.”
Alzheimer’s Society is here for anyone affected by dementia. For information and support, call the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122 or visit www.alzheimers.org.uk.