The pandemic has had a severe impact on people affected by dementia, including those living with dementia and their family, friends and carers.
I welcome the work of the Alzheimer’s Society and others to bring more attention to the, often hidden, impact of this crisis on people living with dementia and on the need for significantly more support for people with dementia and others who require care.
At the last General Election, I stood on a pledge committing to integrating properly funded social care services. Like the Alzheimer’s Society, I am very concerned about the medical, mental and financial issues facing those who suffer from dementia.
I believe that the inadequacies in the support for people living with dementia stems from the wider crisis in social care which preceded this pandemic. Before the covid-19 outbreak, around 1.5 million older people were not receiving the care they needed.
It saddens me that at least £7 billion has been cut from adult social care since 2010. I know that The Alzheimer’s Society urged the Chancellor to include a £2.4 billion Dementia Fund in the 2019 Spending Review to overhaul the social care sector, but the Government only provided an additional £1 billion for both adult and children’s social care.
I share your deep concern about the effects of lockdown on people living in care homes with dementia and want to see visits resume as soon as it is safe to do so. I also agree with you that wherever possible the Government should publish data on the number of and percentage of staff and residents in care homes who have been vaccinated. This is important because seeing the rising number of people vaccinated by potentially gives people hope.