The true cost of dementia care in UK?

Dementia Care

How much does dementia care cost — UK?

Alzheimer’s Society claims that in the UK one person develops dementia every three minutes. Unfortunately, with our current social care struggles, the majority of sufferers can barely cover the tremendous cost of treating the disease. The disease has a big impact on the sufferer’s lives, but sadly, the biggest seems to be the financial one. Currently, the cost of live in dementia care falls mainly on families.

The average cost of dementia care

According to Alzheimer’s Research UK, the total dementia cost is estimated to be over £26bn.

The total cost of dementia care is spread across 3 main categories:

  • Unpaid and informal care (family caregivers) — unless caregiver allowance is claimed, the informal care cost falls on the families and sums up to £11.6bn
  • Social care (care and nursing homes, homecare and respite care) – mainly long-stay care, state-financed or self-funded; the total social care cost is £10.3bn
  • Healthcare (hospital admissions) – mainly fall on the NHS; healthcare costs £4.3bn

There is one additional cost category, that is not included in the figures. It is called “lost benefits for the economics”, which in practice means productivity losses associated with premature deaths. But these kinds of costs are hard to estimate.

dementia-pills
dementia-pills

The average cost of dementia care for the household

The majority of live in dementia care costs is falling on informal carers, and in general – on the dementia sufferers and their families.

The ones that suffer from the condition spend £100,000 on average on the care. There is virtually no limit on what someone can spend, as there is no cap on dementia spendings. Due to the current means-testing, the people affected by dementia have to spend everything they have on care, including selling their property to be able to pay for the care home.

Problems with financing the cost of dementia care

Although dementia is a disease, like many other diseases, people with dementia don’t have as much support in paying for health care. They spend hundreds of thousands on their care. And the government support is very little to none.

Current problems in dementia care:

  • 1 in 3 homecare workers have no dementia training
  • The average cost of dementia care is not covered by the state
  • Dementia care and support is worse than people with other long-term conditions such as heart disease or cancer
  • Families are pushed to their limits, financially and mentally
  • Sufferers don’t stand a chance of getting the funding. The only live-in care option financed by the NHS is the Continuing Healthcare. But to qualify for it, the patient has to be in a really bad condition. It is almost impossible to be eligible.
  • Many hospital admissions for dementia sufferers could have been avoided. Very often, people are kept in the hospitals as there is a lack of social care.
  • People with dementia occupy at least 25% of hospital beds, 70% of care home places and are 60% of all homecare receivers.
  • Family members have to be carers, have to give up on their jobs. They may receive carer’s allowance if the

Having considered all the above problems, hiring a carer seems to be very good care option.

Benefits of care for dementia

In the current situation, financing of dementia care is very complex. It is almost impossible to receive the NHS-financed Continuing Healthcare. Not everybody is eligible for a free care home either. Therefore, it is fair to say that dementia care is mostly self-funded.

Care options for people living with dementia

From that perspective, it is very important to choose a caregiver wisely. Dementia care needs are complex. Only qualified personnel can deal with dementia patients properly.

Care options for dementia sufferers:

  • Family caregivers (informal care by family members, most often unpaid)
  • Domiciliary care (hourly care)
  • Care home or nursing home
  • Live-in care

Why care is the best solution for dementia?

Out of the available care options, it seems that having the live-in carer is the best idea for the person with mild to advanced dementia. In the majority of cases, elderly persons (including those suffering from dementia), prefer to age in their own beloved homes. Carers can be a huge help for persons in mid and late-stage dementia. Such carers know how to approach and how to talk to a person with dementia. They are aware of specific behaviours of the persons with the disease and know the techniques of dealing with it.

The level of care in a care home is often lower than in the case of live-in care. One carer in a care home is responsible for many seniors at the same time. When it comes to personalized live-in care, the carer is only responsible for one person at the time. That makes all the difference.

In home dementia care – costs

When it comes to the cost of 24 hour dementia care, care home fees are not necessarily lower than the cost of live-in care. The annual cost of care for a person with dementia in a care home can sum up to £30,000 and £80,000. From that perspective, live-in care seems reasonable. Not only because the quality of live in care is better than the one in care home. Also, the cost is very often lower.

The cost of dementia care is a flat cost per week. It depends on the level of assistance required.

Carer meets all the dementia care needs

What kind of services may live-in carer provide? The range of services varies from the level of assistance needed and the agreed services covered.

The usual tasks of live in carer, include (but are not limited to):

  • Assistance with bathing and showering
  • Help with getting dressed and groomed in the morning
  • Bedtime preparation
  • Incontinence care
  • Medication administration
  • Help with domestic tasks, e.g. cleaning
  • Cooking and preparing meals
  • Shopping
  • Running errands
  • Assisting in doctor’s visits

24 hour dementia care with carer is a personalised, one-to-one care. The carer can devote all of their time to look after the elderly frail senior. Since the dementia care costs are comparable, if not lower, to the care home cost, this form of care is highly recommended. Especially if we really care about our elderly loved ones.

Talk to us about your dementia care needs

Our friendly and experienced team is here to help you and your family make sense of the options available to you. Call us today – we will help you every step of the way.

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