Shropshire Star

People with dementia face being 'stranded in their own homes' due to rising costs

People living with dementia in the region are facing being "stranded in their own homes" over Christmas due to a surge in care and living costs, a charity has warned.


Alzheimer's Society issued the warning as figures showed almost one in 10 are cutting down on vital social activities – with the same number cutting back on social care. It comes after costs across the UK on average have increased by £1,200 a year for residential care, home care and day care needed by someone who has the condition.

It is estimated people with dementia spend an average of 22 hours of day at home, with people being forced to retreat into one room to save money on their bills.

Judith King, West Midlands area manager for the charity, 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.

“Christmas for most of us is a time of joy and togetherness, but for far too many people living with dementia it will be desperately lonely this year, with many isolated in their own homes."

She added: “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.”

The findings also reveal many people with dementia will spend most of their time indoors over the festive season, meaning they will need to use more heating and lighting to stay safe and well.

More than half of those surveyed who live in their own home said they either don’t leave home at all or go out for less than an hour a day, and 45 per cent of people living with dementia who live alone said they never go out.

Judith added: "People with dementia can already feel abandoned and isolated and this winter it is set to get worse. No one should have to face dementia alone. Alzheimer's Society is here to support people at this difficult time and we're asking anyone in a position to donate to help us continue to offer vital services this winter."