'Windfall' Must Not Be A 'One Off Gesture
When something goes wrong with a vital organ, we take it for granted help will be at hand. Heart problems, liver or lung disease, kidney failure - whatever misfortune comes our way, our under-pressure NHS - the envy of the world - is there for us. Unless the organ in question happens to be our brain. That’s when the ‘free at the point of delivery’ model of health care in this country breaks down.
North East & Cumbria
When something goes wrong with a vital organ, we take it for granted help will be at hand.
Heart problems, liver or lung disease, kidney failure - whatever misfortune comes our way, our under-pressure NHS - the envy of the world - is there for us. Unless the organ in question happens to be our brain. That’s when the ‘free at the point of delivery’ model of health care in this country breaks down.
And that is why, in his recent Spring Budget, chancellor Philip Hammond announced an extra £2bn for social care over the next three years. Because for people living with dementia, social care is the only viable treatment currently available to them. And many are forced to sell their homes to pay for it.
Vast sums are being invested into dementia research and whilst there have been some promising drug trials, the sad truth is that there is no cure on the horizon.
Alzheimer’s Society estimates 850,000 people are living with the disease, a figure that’s set to exceed one million by 2021.
It is surely, therefore, incumbent on us, as a civilised society, to do all we can to make their lives as comfortable as possible.
The vast majority of people receiving social care have dementia, so to all intents and purposes, social care and dementia care are the same thing.
£2bn may sound a lot of money, but we at Alzheimer’s Society believe it is only half of what is actually needed to tackle the dementia epidemic.
Yes, it’s a step in the right direction - just about enough to stop the current creaking system from collapsing.
But if we are going to give people living with dementia the care they deserve, the government must ensure the £2bn windfall is the start on an on-going commitment, not a one-off grand gesture.
**Ken Oxley is the Media Officer for the Alzheimer’s Society in the North East and Cumbria. For information about the charity’s services call 01642 442030 or visit our website.
About Alzheimer's Society:
- Alzheimer's Society is the UK's leading dementia charity. We provide information and support, fund research, campaign to improve care and create lasting change for people affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- Dementia devastates lives. Alzheimer’s Society research shows that 850,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia. By 2021, 1 million people will be living with the condition. This will soar to two million by 2051.
- Dementia deaths are rising year on year and 225,000 will develop dementia this year - that’s one every three minutes.
- Dementia costs the UK economy over £26 billion per year. This is the equivalent of more than £30,000 per person with dementia.
- Alzheimer’s Society funds research into the cause, care, cure and prevention of all types of dementia and has committed to spend at least £150 million on research over the next decade. This includes a £50 million investment in the UK's first dedicated Dementia Research Institute.
- Until the day we find a cure, Alzheimer's Society will be here for anyone affected by dementia - wherever they are, whatever they're going through. Everything we do is informed and inspired by them.
- Let's take on dementia together. Volunteer. Donate. Campaign for change. Whatever you do, unite with us against dementia.
- Alzheimer’s Society relies on voluntary donations to continue our vital work. You can donate now by calling 0330 333 0804 or visiting alzheimers.org.uk.
- Alzheimer’s Society provides a National Dementia Helpline, the number is 0300 222 11 22 or visit alzheimers.org.uk
- Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @Alzheimerssoc
- Like us on Facebook
- Alzheimer’s Society YouTube channel www.youtube.com/AlzheimersSociety