Insufficient care placing hundreds of thousands of people with dementia at risk.
A Quarter of a million people with dementia are being let down by care and support that fails to meet their needs an Alzheimer’s Society report found today – Tuesday 25 January 2011.
According to ‘Support. Stay. Save. Care and support of people with dementia in their own homes‘, this substandard care will result in 50,000 people being forced into care homes early. For each avoidable month these people spend in care, the state will face a bill of at least £70 million. Tens of thousands more will be admitted to hospital unnecessarily.
Carers who said the person with dementia was not receiving sufficient care and support (50%) spoke of people being left bedridden, wearing unchanged incontinence pads and malnourished. More than half (52%) of carers were also being put at risk of stress, depression and other serious illnesses because they were being left to struggle unsupported.
There is clear evidence home care staff want to be empowered with additional training and support to help them provide quality dementia care and 72% said they appreciate people with dementia have special needs. However only 10% said they think the care people with dementia living at home receive meets all their needs.
In the current environment of spending cuts, Alzheimer’s Society predicts the situation is set to get much worse. The charity is now calling on commissioners to think long term and invest in dementia services and training to keep more people out of hospitals and care homes and to save the NHS and councils from bankruptcy.
Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Society said:
‘It is an absolute travesty that so many people with dementia are being forced to struggle without the care and support they need. The consequences of this represent an unacceptable human and financial cost.
‘Half a million people with dementia live in the community and many will need help with everyday tasks such as eating meals, washing or going to the toilet. This help not only maintains dignity but prevents serious health issues. While staying at home is not right for everyone we know many people want to remain in the familiar surroundings they are used to with family or loved ones. Only with the right support will this be possible.