The cost of social care for people with dementia will nearly treble over the next two decades, it has been claimed.
While the number of people with dementia in the UK is expected to nearly double to 1.6 million people by 2040, the cost of dementia care will almost triple to £45.4 billion from today’s cost of £15.7 billion.
According to a report commissioned by Alzheimer’s Society from the London School of Economics and Political Science, the total cost of dementia to the UK economy, including costs to the NHS, paid social care and unpaid care, has risen to £34.7 billion and will rise further to £94.1 billion by 2040.
The report predicts that as the population ages, a higher proportion of people with dementia will have higher care needs for longer, driving up the average amount spent on care.
It shows £9 billion a year (57%) in social care costs fall on people with dementia and their families.
Previous research by Alzheimer’s Society has shown that someone with dementia will typically have to spend £100,000 on their care.
The report also found that families are providing £13.9 billion a year in unpaid care for people with dementia, which will increase to £35.7 billion by 2040.
With the cost of dementia care set to treble by 2040, the Alzheimer’s Society’s called for all political parties to commit to radical dementia care reform.
It argues that dementia care should be funded like other public services, such as the NHS and education, where the cost is shared across society, protecting individuals and their families from the devastating costs of specialist dementia care.
Jeremy Hughes, chief executive at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Dementia is heart-breaking for families. It’s not right that those going through it have to battle to get the care they need on top of battling the disease. The cost of dementia care is too much for an individual to bear. It should be spread between us – just like schools, the NHS and other public services.”
The Alzheimer’s Society is campaigning for three commitments from the next government:
– Radically reform dementia care to address the specific needs of people with dementia, ending the daily injustice they, and their families, face in accessing the good quality care to which they are entitled.
– Ensure that people with dementia can participate in their communities on the same basis as everyone else.
– Close the research funding gap between dementia and other disease areas to ensure new treatments and life changing care interventions are available to everyone living with dementia, as soon as possible.