16 August 2011
The Alzheimer’s Society report
A recent report from the Alzheimer’s Society stated that there are 750,000 people living with dementia in the UK, 2/3 of whom live in their own homes in the community, while 1/3 live in care homes. Dementia costs the UK £20 billion a year, which is set to increase due to the number of people living with dementia.
Those taking part in the report confirmed that maintaining independence and quality of life are of key importance to people with dementia and that more support and care must be focused on empowering people with dementia to achieve these aspirations. Recommendations from the society suggest that there must be an urgent and concerted effort to support people with dementia to live independently in their own homes and avoid early and unnecessary admission to long-term care.
83% of individuals that took part in the questionnaire said that being able to live at home was very important to a person with dementia, in order for this to occur outcomes frameworks in health and social care must be considered in the context of dementia. The frameworks must consider the desired aspirations and outcomes of people with dementia, rather than simply looking at care and support needs in their narrowest sense.
The perfect solution for those with dementia that want to live at home, is Live-in care. Not only does it allow the individuals to stay at home but also with enough support from a Live-in Carer. Live-in Care has the benefit of ensuring people get the outcomes they want, be it being able to eat what they want when they want and to maintain an established routine in a familiar setting.
Currently 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. There is a need to review whole system costs for dementia to assess how resources are being spent and where they could be used more effectively. Live-in Care can provide an effective solution for bed blocking and in some cases can be cost effective too, it can make sense that good care in the community is better value for money than poor care which often leads to expensive avoidable admissions to long term and acute care.
The Alzheimer’s Society confirmed that there remains a significant need for further development of community support and care services. Perhaps a focus needs to be of awareness, so that individuals and their families know the choices they have and can make informed decisions.