Portsmouth MP joins campaign to fix dementia care

Portsmouth South MP, Stephen Morgan, joined an Alzheimer’s Society event to launch their new report, Dementia – the true cost as part of their Fix Dementia Care campaign.

This Dementia Action Week (21-27 May) Alzheimer’s Society is asking the general public to take small actions that can have a big impact on the lives of people with dementia. MPs were asked to take action by attending an event in Westminster to learn more about how they can support Alzheimer’s Society’s work to fix dementia care.

With no drugs to cure or slow down dementia, it’s social care not the NHS that people with dementia rely on every day. In the UK, three fifths of people using homecare and 70% of people in care homes live with dementia.

Dementia is among the most complex conditions that the social care system has to support, yet too many people with the condition are struggling to access good quality care at a fair price.

Alzheimer’s Society has been campaigning to fix dementia care to ensure that everyone with dementia receives good quality care when they need it. Their new report, Dementia – the true cost, highlights the far-reaching impact of the broken social care system on people with dementia.

The report, based on testimony and evidence from people affected by dementia, social care professionals and dementia lead nurses, also outlines urgent areas for Government to address in its upcoming Green Paper on social care reform.

Stephen Morgan MP commented:

‘I am proud to have united with people in our city to fix dementia care. As someone whose Nan had Alzheimer’s, this is an issue close to my heart and I know what a difference good quality care can make.

The number of people aged 75 and over is expected to increase by 70% in Portsmouth South between 2015-23. It is essential the Government wake up, put social care on a sustainable footing, and end the crisis that has already seen £6 billion cut from services.

The Tories are spending less money on social care now than Labour was spending in 2010, despite the demand for social care having increased significantly. One million people will have dementia by 2021. They and their families deserve urgent action, I’m pleased to work with Alzheimer’s Society to press for this.’

Sally Copley, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Alzheimer’s Society said:

‘This Dementia Action Week, as we’re asking everyone across the UK to take actions big or small to help people with dementia, it’s brilliant to see positive action from people and we’re looking forward to working with Stephen to respond to the public demand for change.

Our Fix Dementia Care campaign has exposed the poor quality care that people with dementia are currently receiving, and this must end now.’

Dementia is the biggest health and social challenge we face. With one person diagnosed with dementia every three minutes in the UK, almost everyone knows someone affected but too many people face the condition alone, without adequate support.

While much progress has been made to becoming a dementia friendly UK, including 2.4 million Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends trained globally and over 350 dementia friendly communities across the UK, people with dementia tell us that more urgently needs to be done.

People affected by dementia highlighted the small actions that would have a big impact on their lives and enabling them to live the lives they choose, such as continuing to invite people with dementia out and making sure you listen and include them in conversations.

Alzheimer’s Society is asking everyone to take these this week:

• Talk to me. Don’t be worried about talking to me. I’m still me.

• Listen to me. Take time to listen and involve me in the conversation. I can still teach you a thing or two.

• Include me. Keep on inviting me out. Friends still mean the world to me.

• Ask if I need help. If I seem confused, ask if I need help. These little things help me stay independent.

• Be patient. Be patient with me and I’ll show you how I can still do things. It just might take me longer than it used to.

• Ask me about my dementia. Don’t be afraid to ask me questions. When you take the time to understand my dementia, I know there’s someone on my side.

• Help my carer too. Support my partner and others who care for me. My dementia affects them too.

Alzheimer’s Society is here for anyone affected by dementia. For information and support, call the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122 or visit alzheimers.org.uk