Treat dementia as an illness, says Care England leader
Caring Times, September 2014
People with dementia will be denied specialist care until dementia is treated as an illness, says Care England chief executive professor Martin Green.
Currently, although dementia is classified as a physical illness of the brain, most of the essential care is provided by social services.
“This means people with dementia have to be means tested for social care funding,” said Prof. Green, speaking at a day on cognitive impairment and dementia at PJ Care’s Eagle Wood Neurological Care Centre in Peterborough in June.
“People with dementia and their families shouldn’t have to pay thousands of pounds for treatment from their own pockets, when other conditions had their funding covered by the NHS.”
George McNamara, head of policy & public affairs for the Alzheimer’s Society has responded, saying the system as it stands often fails people with dementia.
“What we need is reform which integrates health and social care,” he said.
“This can only be achieved by addressing the crisis in funding and looking at innovative ways to commission health and social care services together. If we fail to make these changes people with dementia will continue to face soaring care costs for years to come and miss out on the specialist support they need and deserve.”