Shocking Survey Reveals Why Government Must ‘fix’ our Broken Social Care System
Alzheimer’s Society recently released a shocking survey that reveals the devastating impact lockdown has had on people living with dementia and their carers.
Across the country, those caring for loved ones have put in an extra 92 million hours since March 23, including an estimated 3.9m here in the North East.
The pressure has left them feeling exhausted and under immense stress. They have also told us their loved ones’ symptoms have become worse due to the inevitable decrease in social interaction experienced during lockdown.
Their plight highlights the shortcomings of our chronically underfunded social care system that has left many nowhere else to turn, a problem Alzheimer’s Society is campaigning to resolve.
On top of this, we recently revealed people with dementia have accounted for a staggering one in four Covid-19 deaths. Almost 14,000 people with the condition died in England and Wales from the virus between March and June.
These findings paint a worrying picture for the 850,000 people living with dementia across the UK, including around 6,000 in Teesside.
Our survey revealed a shocking 95% of family carers said extra caring hours had negatively impacted their physical or mental health, with 69% of more than 1,000 people we spoke to reporting feeling constantly exhausted, 64% feeling anxious, 49% feeling depressed, and 50% developing problems sleeping. Some 14% had no time to see a GP about a health problem, and more than one in 10 (13%) said they’d had an injury from caring.
It’s clear that coronavirus has laid bare the dire state of social care for all to see. The lasting legacy from this crisis must be a universal social care system, free at the point of use, that provides quality care for every person with dementia who needs it.
Ken Oxley is the Media Officer for Alzheimer’s Society in the North East
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