As the Chancellor prepares to deliver Autumn Budget, research reveals public unaware of dementia costs and leading charity demands urgent social care investment.
The general public are oblivious to the catastrophic costs of dementia care, with many believing it is free on the NHS, according to YouGov figures (1)released today by Alzheimer’s Society.
People with dementia typically spend £100,000 on care over their lifetime (2) – a shocking statistic that the vast majority (81%) of people surveyed were unaware of. When asked what they thought dementia care costs, almost half (46%) said they had no idea at all. The most common answer was between £25,000 and £50,000, well below the true cost.
The research also highlighted that 50% of the public didn’t know that dementia care isn’t provided for free by the NHS. While there are pno drugs to cure or slow down the disease, people with dementia rely on social care for support every day, and decades of chronic under-funding mean families are often forced to foot the bill for spiralling care costs themselves.
Someone in the UK develops dementia every three minutes, and 850,000 people are currently living with the devastating disease, which slowly strips people of their memories and identities. Dementia costs the UK £26.3billion a year, which is largely shouldered by the families affected.
Pamela Jacques spent more than £200,000 in just three and a half years on care for her parents, who both had dementia, and even had to sell the family home to cover the cost. Pamela said: “My parents both worked until they were nearly 70 years old and were sensible with their money, but dementia care is so expensive. It isn’t something you can save for, and you shouldn’t have to.