The Alzheimer’s Society has warned that people who are living with dementia in Yorkshire and Humber are going through a very difficult time, as the rising cost of care and living may leave them isolated at home this festive season.
The charity reveals that amongst those struggling with the cost-of-living crisis, one of six are cutting down on necessary social activities or stopping their social care which is leaving them at a risk this winter, and one in four are living in one room to reduce costs, which way increase their isolation and make their condition worse.
Cost-of-living crisis affecting those with dementia
While almost everyone is experiencing this cost-of-living crisis, it can be more difficult for those with dementia, because many have to pay for their own care which is not covered by the NHS. The Alzheimer’s Society reveals that the cost of care – residential, day care and home care – has risen by an average £1,200 a year.
The survey conducted by Alzheimer’s Society showed that many people with dementia will spend most of their time indoors this winter. This means they will spend more on heating, lighting and food bills. Some two in five households with someone living with dementia said they had had struggled to pay at least one bill in the last month, and one in four said they had struggled to pay for food and drink.
Danielle Cooper, head of service for Alzheimer’s Society in the region, said:
“Christmas for most of us is a time for a time of joy and togetherness, but too far too many people living with dementia will be desperately lonely this year, with many isolated in their own homes.
“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”.
It is estimated that by 2025, one million people in the UK will have a form of dementia. According to the CDC, “dementia is not a specific disease but is rather a general term for the impaired ability to remember, think or make decisions that interferes with doing everyday activities”. It is caused by damage to or loss of nerve cells and their connections in the brain. Memory loss that disrupts daily life, confusion with time and place, and trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationship are major symptoms of dementia.
The Alzheimer’s Society is the only UK dementia research charity to fund both biomedical and care research. To support their work, visit their website.