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Cost of lacklustre dementia support

25 January 2011

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A lack of support on offer for people with dementia within their own homes will force about 50,000 sufferers into care homes prematurely, experts have said.

A report has highlighted the inadequate help available for people with dementia to complete everyday tasks such as dressing, washing and shopping. This is making it difficult for those with the condition to continue living in the community.

Thousands of people with dementia end up in hospitals when they could be supported at home, the study from the Alzheimer’s Society said.

The state faces a bill of at least £70 million for each avoidable month these 50,000 people spend in a care home.

Care homes cost an average of about £559 per week.

There are 750,000 people living with dementia in the UK, two thirds of whom live in their own homes, with the remainder living in care homes.

For the study, the charity received responses from almost 1,400 carers of people with dementia and 48 people living with the condition.

Another 989 care home workers also provided information to the charity.

The results showed that 83% of carers thought being able to live in their own home was very important to the person with dementia.

However, 50% reported that the dementia patient was not receiving sufficient support and care to meet their needs.

This can lead to early admission to long-term care and avoidable in-patient stays in hospital.

The report said: “Current hospital and long-term care costs resulting from dementia are unsustainable and represent a significant opportunity for resources to be used more effectively while achieving better outcomes.”

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