People living with dementia are facing a ‘perfect storm’ of rising care and living costs that will leave many ‘stranded in their homes’ over Christmas, a charity has warned.
Alzheimer’s Society, a UK care and research charity for people with dementia and their carers, has revealed that one in seven people is cutting down on social activities, with many stopping their social care, leaving them at ‘real risk of crisis’ this winter.
This comes from a survey it conducted of 1,166 people affected by dementia across the UK.
It found that while the cost of living crisis impacts everyone, people with dementia face more pressures as many have to pay for their own care, unlike those wither conditions treated by the NHS.
Fees have risen on average by £1,200 a year for residential care, home care and day care.
People with dementia spend around 22 hours a day at home and in a bid to reduce costs, one in four is retreating into one room therefore isolating themselves to save on energy bills.
Emma Spragg, head of services for the north west and Isle of Man at Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘The rising cost of living has left people with dementia facing a perfect storm of rising care costs, leading many to reduce their crucial care services and social activities, while also struggling to heat their homes.
‘For people with dementia, cold and isolation can have a devastating impact on their condition, leaving them at real risk of crisis this winter.
‘Christmas for most of us is a time of joy and togetherness, but for far too many people living with dementia it will be desperately lonely this year, with many isolated in their own homes.
‘No one should have to choose between heating their home or getting the care they need, but as people with dementia face rising care costs, one in ten across the North West is choosing to reduce or even stop vital social activities.’
The findings also reveal many people with dementia will spend most of their time indoors over the festive season, meaning they will need to use more heating and lighting to stay safe and well.
More than half (53%) of those surveyed nationally who live in their own home said they either don’t leave home at all or go out for less than an hour a day, and 45% of people living with dementia who live alone said they never go out.
Kate Lee, Chief Executive Officer at Alzheimer’s Society, added: ‘Alzheimer’s Society is here to support people at this difficult time and we’re asking anyone in a position to donate to help us continue to offer vital services this winter.’