Updated: Sunday, 19th November 2017 @ 8:06am

Dementia tax: 30,000 Greater Manchester families forced to ‘break bank’ over care costs

Dementia tax: 30,000 Greater Manchester families forced to ‘break bank’ over care costs

| By Nsofwa Kangwa

Manchester carers are being forced to pay ‘dementia tax’ as what they already pay to the NHS won’t cover the cost of care if they fall ill, say the Alzheimer’s Society.

There are currently 89,783 people living with dementia in the North West, according to the charity. 

And they claim that the carers and family members of dementia suffers are left to foot two-thirds of the £26billion bill the disease costs the UK a year.

Sue Clarke, operations manager for Alzheimer’s Society in Greater Manchester, said: “With almost 30,000 people living with dementia in Greater Manchester and many more friends and family affected by the condition, it is vital the government takes action.

“We know that parts of Greater Manchester are leading the way as some of the best performing areas for support after diagnosis.

“However, despite good progress, today’s research highlights the huge financial and human impact dementia is having.

“In the UK one person develops dementia every three minutes and we must do more to ensure that everyone living with dementia gets the care and support they need.”

According to figures produced by the London School of Economics and King’s College London for the Alzheimer’s Society, there are 29,560 people living with dementia in Greater Manchester.

Those of which contribute to the 1.3billion unpaid hours delivered by carers who are usually spouses or family members across the UK.

The table below shows the number within the ten different districts of Greater Manchester who live with dementia.

Area

People living with dementia

Bolton

3147

Bury

2223

Manchester

3654

Oldham

2493

Rochdale

2343

Salford

2557

Stockport

4022

Tameside

2550

Trafford

2941

Wigan

3630

 

These figures shine a startling light on the impact that dementia has across the UK for patients and carers and the Alzheimer’s Society is urging the Government to end the artificial divide between health and social care.  

Seeing the permanence of the Prime Minister’s challenge on dementia strategy that ends next May is also a major concern of the charity.

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer's Society, explained how the ‘artificial divide’ between health and social care disadvantaged those who were affected by dementia.

He said: “If you have cancer or heart disease you can quite rightly expect that the care you need will be free. That is just not the case for people with dementia. Families are forced to break the bank to pay for basic care for a loved one.

“These spiralling costs cannot continue unchecked as 225,000 people develop dementia in the UK every year – that is one every three minutes.

“While the Government has woken up to the challenge dementia presents, today's report reveals we need radical solutions and serious funding commitments to put social care on a sustainable footing.” 

The charity has also released an interactive infographic to illustrate some of the key findings from the reports.

To find out more, click here.

Image courtesy of Erik Soderstrom, with thanks