The number of people with dementia in Luton and Bedfordshire will rise by more than 3,500 over the next decade, according to a report commissioned by Alzheimer's Society.
In Luton, 2,086 people are currently living with dementia, this is estimated to rise to 2,829 by 2030, in Bedford, 2,256 people are living with the condition, this is predicted to rise to 3,280 and in Central Bedfordshire it is expected to rise from 3,461 to 5,334 by 2030.
The announcement comes following a report published this week, commissioned by Alzheimer’s Society from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
The report predicts that as our population ages, a higher proportion of people with dementia will have higher care needs for longer, driving up the average amount spent on care.
It shows more than 60% a year of social care costs in England will fall on people with dementia and their families. Previous research by Alzheimer’s Society has shown that someone with dementia will typically have to spend £100,000 on their care.
With the number of people living with dementia set to rise, Alzheimer’s Society’s call ahead of the general election, from its Fix Dementia Care campaign, is for all political parties to commit to radically reform dementia care.
It should be funded like other public services, such as the NHS and education, where the cost is shared across society, protecting individuals and their families from the costs of specialist dementia care.
Alzheimer’s Society released the figures as it launches its election manifesto, ‘Demanding action on dementia’.
It calls for three commitments from the next government:
Radically reform dementia care to address the specific needs of people with dementia, ending the daily injustice they, and their families, face in accessing the good quality care to which they are entitled.
Ensure that people with dementia can participate in their communities on the same basis as everyone else.
Close the research funding gap between dementia and other disease areas to ensure new treatments and life changing care interventions are available to everyone living with dementia, as soon as possible.
Tina Kierman, Alzheimer’s Society Area Manager for Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire, said: “Dementia is heart-breaking for families. It’s not right that those going through it have to battle to get the care they need on top of battling the condition.
“From the working mum struggling to find hundreds of pounds every week to ‘top up’ her mum’s council-funded care home place, to the woman who had to sell her home of 50 years to pay for her husband’s care – families affected by dementia are already at breaking point.
“The cost of dementia care is too much for an individual to bear. It should be spread between us – just like schools, the NHS and other public services.
"Every party must go into this election with a solid plan to radically reform dementia care. Families in crisis need action, and they need it now."
Alzheimer’s Society is calling on people to back their Fix Dementia Care campaign by signing up at alzheimers.org.uk/fixcampaign.