60% of Dementia Sufferers Struggled with too Little Support Over Past Year

As one in five family carers report that they had to admit their loved one with dementia to A&E due to lack of support, Alzheimer’s Society calls for dementia support workers in every area.

Alzheimer’s Society says support following a dementia diagnosis is ‘unequal, inconsistent and inadequate’, with one in five carers saying lack of support meant their loved ones ended up in A&E.

A new report by the charity, Left to Cope Alone: The unmet support needs after a dementia diagnosis, which launched today (Wednesday 29 June 2022) at the Local Government Association Annual Conference, revealed three in five (61%) of people affected by dementia did not feel they had received enough support in the last 12 months.

A second survey of another 1,000 people affected by dementia, also showed that more than half (54%) of family carers reached crisis point in the last year alone1 with families having no idea of the support available. This left people with dementia at risk of going to hospital with avoidable conditions like falls or urinary tract infections, creating unnecessary pressure on the NHS.

A need for more dementia support workers in the UK
Now, the charity is calling for primary care networks to use the government’s funding for support roles in primary care to provide at least one dementia support worker in every area. These are specialists in the community who provide the missing link between families and support after a diagnosis.

Previous research has suggested that just 38% of people with dementia report they are receiving dementia health and care services, highlighting that the help people need isn’t matching the help they’re getting.

Kate Lee, Alzheimer’s Society CEO, said:
‘No family affected by dementia should face it alone. Post diagnostic dementia support is unequal, inadequate and inconsistent, leaving families without the necessary care they need to get through some of the hardest and most frightening times of their lives.

‘People tell us that a lack of dedicated support means they are relying on the internet to find out about their condition, or that the wellbeing of their loved one with dementia depends on how well they’re ‘doing their homework’ to find support.’

Family carers are at breaking point trying to make sure their loved ones are safe, cared for, while trying to maintain some quality of life.

‘People need the right support from the moment of diagnosis. Having a dedicated dementia support worker in every area would plug the gaps we’re seeing in primary care, give people the one point of contact to help them navigate the health and social care system and ease pressure on health services.

‘Dementia support workers provide a crucial link between the 900,000 people living with dementia and post diagnostic support, and they are incredibly cost effective – every £1 spent results in £4 worth of benefits’








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