Dementia patients in the UK are subject to what could be called a “care tax” because they are left to arrange most of the care they need themselves, say experts at The Alzheimer’s Society.
Researchers said on average only a third of funding (around £11,000) comes from the NHS or council funds, leaving a substantial shortfall. In fact, the equivalent of around £32,000 a year is being spent on care per patient – quite a difference.
Alzheimer’s Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes said the figures were “staggering” and the lack of paid-for care was, in effect, a “dementia care tax”.
“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.”
The Alzheimer’s Society commissioned the research, which was carried out by the London School of Economics and Kings College London, to update figures they had compiled in 2007.