PEOPLE living with dementia in the West Midlands are facing a ‘perfect storm’ of rising care and living costs that will leave many ‘stranded in their own homes’ warns Alzheimer’s Society.
The charity reports that amongst those struggling with cost of living pressures, nearly one in ten is cutting down on vital social activities, and one in ten is cutting down or stopping their social care, leaving them at real risk of crisis this winter.
While the cost of living crisis impacts almost everyone, people with dementia face additional pressures as many have to pay for their own care, unlike those with other conditions that are treated by the NHS.
A new Alzheimer’s Society survey of 1,166 people affected dementia from across the UK reveals that fees have risen on average £1,200 a year for residential care, home care and day care.
It’s estimated people with dementia spend an average of 22 hours a day at home.
In a bid to reduce costs, the charity’s national survey revealed one in four who are struggling with the rising cost of living are retreating into one room to save on energy bills, leaving them at risk of devastating isolation which could see their condition worsen.
Judith King West Midlands area manager for Alzheimer’s Society, said: “The rising cost of living has left people with dementia facing a perfect storm of rising care costs, leading many to reduce their crucial care services and social activities, while also struggling to heat their homes.
“For people with dementia, cold and isolation can have a devastating impact on their condition, leaving them at real risk of crisis this winter.
“No-one should have to choose between heating their home or getting the care they need, but as people with dementia face rising care costs, almost one in ten in the West Midlands are choosing to reduce or even stop vital social activities and one in ten have reduced or stopped using social care.
“We were disappointed that Government has delayed the care cap for two years, which would have set an £86,000 limit on what people contribute to their own care. This was a first step towards tackling crippling care costs, at a time when people with dementia are facing even bigger bills. We appreciate the additional investment for social care announced recently by the Chancellor but as we approach the difficult winter ahead, we need a long-term solution to fix our broken care system and deliver the quality, affordable care people with dementia deserve.”
If you are affected by dementia and need help, call Alzheimer’s Society’s support line on 0333 150 3456 or visit alzheimers.org.uk/costofliving