Drastic increase in dementia cases in next 10 years

PUBLISHED: 07:27 03 December 2019

Robert Day and his brother-in-law Roger Hall.    Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Robert Day and his brother-in-law Roger Hall. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

The number of people with dementia in North Somerset is set to increase by 43 per cent in the next decade, with people forced to sell their homes to pay for care.

Robert Day and his brother-in-law Roger Hall.    Picture: MARK ATHERTONRobert Day and his brother-in-law Roger Hall. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

A report commissioned by the Alzheimer's Society also reveals more than 60 per cent of social care costs in England each year will fall on people with dementia and their families.

Previous research by the charity has shown someone with dementia will have to spend around £100,000 on their care.

Bob Day, from Backwell, was a long-term carer for his wife Carol when she was diagnosed with dementia in her mid 60s in 2012.

Bob, aged 80, said they had saved during their working lives so they could enjoy holidays in their retirement, but they have spent almost all of their money - £75,000 - on care homes.

He said: "I looked after her for 12 years and she's now in a care home.

"She can't do anything for herself, she has to be hoisted out of bed, dressed and changed and put in a wheelchair and she can't feed herself.

"It's a terrible disease. It completely knocks you off your feet. It's shocking for everyone involved.

"We thought we'd use the money to go on cruises but all that money has gone to care homes."

There were few support groups when Carol was first diagnosed and Bob struggled to find help.

He said: "Being a carer is extremely tiring, demanding and you feel isolated. It can also lead to depression.

"That's why all these clubs are very important.

"I didn't know about dementia at first. I had to go out and find help by myself.

"More people are talking about it now but back then there was a bit of a stigma.

"What I believe would make a tremendous difference to people would be to have a dementia companion for those first few months following a diagnosis.

"I didn't appreciate at that time how my life would change.

"We have benefited massively from various clubs and support networks including lunch clubs, coffee mornings and memory cafés, and we've made lots of new friends."

The Alzheimer's Society is calling for radical reforms to dementia care to ensure families get the support they need.

The charity also wants an increase in funding into dementia to ensure new treatments and life-changing care interventions are available to everyone.

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