The Fair Dementia Care Commission's report has shed light on the difficulties faced by people with advanced dementia when accessing support.
The Commission published their report earlier this week (Tuesday 22 January) which considered the cost of social care, and the complexity and lack of transparency of financial assessment processes.
The report found that:
- Dementia is caused by progressive neurological disease processes, such as Alzheimer’s disease;
- Advanced dementia produces complex health and nursing care needs;
- People with advanced dementia do not currently have equality of access to the health care they need. Instead, advanced dementia has a mainly social care response;
- People with advanced dementia are disproportionately subject to social care charges for what are primarily health and nursing care needs;
- And people with advanced dementia are paying an estimated £50.9m per year in social care charges for care which doesn’t provide the health or nursing care they require.
The report highlights that the complex needs associated with advanced dementia have not been fully understood or recognised as health or nursing care and therefore free at the point of delivery.
The report calls for authorities to accept and recognise that people with advanced dementia must have the equality of access to free health care on a par with people who are living with other progressive and terminal illnesses.
If that recommendation is implemented, there are people for whom some social care charging will still apply. The report therefore also highlights the current complexity, variability and lack of transparency in social care charging policies across Scotland and makes recommendations to make financial assessments better more understandable to everyone.
You can read the report in full on the Alzheimer Scotland website (this link will take you away from our website).
The Fair Dementia Care Commission was established by Alzheimer Scotland to consider the inequality in access to health care and the disproportionate impact of social care charges faced by people with advanced dementia, their families, and carers in Scotland. Chaired by Henry McLeish, the commission brings together a small group of experts to work in partnership with Alzheimer Scotland.