Mr. Cameron has recently announced a funding boost for dementia research and care in hospitals but his new scheme ignores the challenges faced by long-term care homes which provide residence and support for a third of UK dementia patients.
March 28, 2012, PayingForCare.co.uk – UK Prime Minister David Cameron is going to double dementia research funding to £66 million a year by 2015 and said there would be financial rewards for hospitals that offer quality care to such patients. While researchers and hospitals are celebrating the good news, 14,000 care providers with 250,000 dementia patients under their supervision are bearing the brunt on their own.
Dementia is a national concern
Dementia is a terminal condition with the average life expectancy of 8 years after diagnosis. It is expected to affect around 800,000 seniors in 2012 at a cost of £23 billion to the National Health Service. By 2021 the disease may affect about 1 million Britons and by 2051 the amount of patients can increase to 1.7 million. Unfortunately, many professionals and the public see no point in diagnosing something that cannot be prevented and consider forgetfulness a part of ageing.
The UK spends too little on dementia studies
The Government’s plan to increase funding for dementia research more than twofold to £66 million is definitely a positive change but this sum seems inadequate compared to the £590 million invested in cancer research and the £190 million spent on heart disease studies annually. The UK has often criticised the American social care system but USA investment in dementia research is £52 per person while the British spend only £7.
Care providers need financial help too
A third of Britons with dementia are currently staying in care homes. Those are mostly patients with an advanced form of the disease. Today more than 14,000 organisations provide long-term care for such people but the recent cuts of over £1 billion in care funding have deprived lots of dementia sufferers of appropriate care. Only 2 out of 10 local councils are now providing support for care seekers with minor needs; the rest are funding only people with critical and substantial needs.
David Cameron has called dementia “the quiet crisis” and promised to increase research funding from £26.6 million in 2010 to £66 million by 2015. Another £54 million will be available for hospitals so that they can improve care and support provided for such patients and their families. Long-term care homes, however, are not going to receive any financial help from the government, at least, under this scheme.
Long-term care homes at PayingForCare.co.uk
Read more about home care at Paying for Care