People with dementia spending almost £15bn on care, research shows

Jeremy Hughes, CEO of Alzheimer’s Society

People living with dementia have spent almost £15bn of their own money on social care since government reforms were first promised in March 2017, according to the Alzheimer’s Society.

The £14.5bn spent by people suffering from dementia compares to £9.3bn spent by the government, its analysis has revealed.

Since the government promised a green paper two years ago, people with dementia have spent more than 1 million days in hospital, despite being well enough to go home. This has cost the NHS more than £340m.

‘This shocking sum of money spent by people with dementia over the last two years trying to get access to the care and support they desperately need is utterly unacceptable,’ said Jeremy Hughes, Alzheimer’s Society chief executive. ‘And the amount and quality of care they’re getting for it – those who can afford it – just isn’t good enough. The results are people with dementia and their families falling victim to this dreadfully broken system.’

The number of people over 65 with a diagnosis of dementia in England has gone up by 33,874, taking the total to 470,000 and creating additional demand for the care system.

The research charity is calling for urgent investment in a dedicated £2.4bn Dementia Fund to end people having to pay for care.

It recommends the money for the fund should come from the unallocated £3.5bn for community care attached to The NHS Long Term Plan.

The government has said it plans to publish its green paper ‘at the earliest opportunity’.