Soaring Numbers of Families Struggling to Care for Loved Ones with Dementia Reach “Crisis Point,” Says Charity
Increasing Cases of Immediate Risk of Harm Leave Families with Nowhere to Turn
More than 700,000 people in the UK are responsible for the care of a relative with dementia, and a charity has warned that these families have reached a “crisis point” with no support available when their loved ones put themselves or others at risk of harm. Dementia UK reports that many caregivers feel overwhelmed by alarming situations and are unable to cope.
Growing Number of Dementia Cases and Lack of Guidance
Dementia is a condition that affects a person’s ability to manage their reactions to difficult thoughts and feelings. This can result in intense distress, leading to verbal or physical aggression and endangering both the individual with dementia and those around them. With someone developing dementia every three minutes in the UK, the number of cases is rapidly increasing. However, there is limited information and guidance available for caregivers.
- Over 700,000 people in the UK care for a relative with dementia
- Dementia can cause intense distress and aggression in individuals
- Limited information and guidance available for caregivers
Health and Social Care Services Stretched to Their Limit
Dementia UK highlights that caregivers and their loved ones are being failed by stretched health and social care support services. This strain has resulted in a surge of calls to the charity’s helpline.
- Health and social care support services are stretched to their limit
- Surge in calls to Dementia UK’s helpline
Families at Risk of Harm with No Support
Sheridan Coker, the deputy clinical lead at Dementia UK, expressed concern over the increasing number of families at risk of harm with nowhere to turn for help. The charity receives calls from caregivers who have been physically assaulted by the person with dementia, as well as from spouses who are exhausted from providing round-the-clock care.
- Increasing number of families at risk of harm
- Carers express thoughts of harming the person with dementia due to inability to cope
- Families lack guidance to manage crisis situations
Record Number of Calls to Dementia UK’s Helpline
Dementia UK’s helpline, described as a “lifeline” by one caller, is now receiving thousands of calls each month. Data shows that the number of calls specifically related to safeguarding, where the person with dementia or their carer is in immediate danger, nearly doubled in 2022 compared to the previous year. The charity projects a significant increase in safeguarding calls for 2023.
- Record number of calls to Dementia UK’s helpline
- Increase in safeguarding incident calls
- Charity projects nine times more safeguarding calls in 2023 compared to 2021
Guide Developed to Assist Families
Dementia UK has developed a guide for families that provides information, advice, and a list of resources to consider personal safety when caring for someone with dementia. The charity emphasizes the need for carefully considered strategies for dementia care at both national and local levels.
- Dementia UK has developed a guide for families
- Guide features information, advice, and resources for personal safety
- Strategies for dementia care need to be developed at national and local levels
Insufficient Support for Families Affected by Dementia
Paul Edwards, the director of clinical services at Dementia UK, highlights the failure to adequately support families affected by dementia. He calls for the development of strategies to bridge the gap between health and social care and alleviate the burden on caregivers.
- Families affected by dementia continue to be failed
- Insufficient support leads to increased burden on caregivers
- Strategies needed to bridge the gap between health and social care