How Much Does Dementia Care Cost?

Dementia / Cost of Living Help

The total cost of dementia in the UK is £42 billion. It is estimated that 63% of these costs are shouldered by people with dementia and their families. The cost of dementia in the UK is set to rise to £90 billion a year by 2040 unless action is taken.

How much does dementia care cost in the UK? 

People living with dementia often face catastrophic care costs – an individual with dementia spends an average of around £100,000 on their care over their lifetime. Dementia can be complex and involve symptoms that need tailored support. This means care providers often charge a premium rate for dementia care. 

Dementia care is on average 15% more expensive to deliver than standard social care. This isn’t covered by the NHS, as many people might expect.

Increasing numbers of people living with dementia

There are currently around 1 million people living with dementia in the UK. By 2040, there will be 1.4 million people living with dementia in the UK. This is an issue that is not going away, making it all the more important that we fix the injustice in the system as soon as possible.

People affected by dementia form a significant population of social care users. A system that’s fairer for people living with dementia is better for everyone.

The social care system needs sustainable reforms that result in people living with dementia being able to get high quality and easily accessible social care. This must be provided by a social care workforce that is appropriately trained in dementia, to at least tier 2 of the Dementia Training Standards Framework, or equivalent. 

The care system must be backed up by long-term sustainable investment across the sector, underpinned by a funding model that is centred on achieving affordable care for everyone living with and affected by dementia.

Reforming the social care system for dementia

The current social care system is not set up properly to deliver care that meets the needs of people living with dementia. There is hope for the future for dementia with disease-modifying treatments in development, but we must also focus on help for today and for those who will not be eligible for such drugs.

Many people living with dementia will continue to be reliant on the social care system to help manage their symptoms. They will continue to require accessible, high-quality, affordable, personalised care. It is therefore vitally important that the current and future care system is fit for purpose.

Campaigning for improvements to social care for people living with dementia

Improving social care for people living with dementia and their carers is a priority for Alzheimer’s Society and we are calling on governments in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to deliver these three things:

  • A long-term strategy in each nation to cultivate a skilled and supported workforce equipped to deliver high-quality personalised dementia care. This must include mandatory high-quality, evidence based dementia training for all care staff supporting someone living with dementia.
  • More support for unpaid carers who should be proactively offered an annual needs assessment by local systems and be able to access sufficient dementia-specific respite care.
  • A sustainable funding model which pools the risk of care costs across society to ensure quality, personalised care is accessible to everyone living with dementia.

Get involved to help us call on governments for change

Together, we can make a difference to the lives of people living with dementia, their loved ones and carers in the UK.

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