The dust is beginning to settle on the general election and Theresa May remains as Prime Minister in Number Ten. Social care, as ever, was one of the key battlegrounds in the snap election of 2017. Here Welbeing looks at what was promised in the Conservative manifesto and how remote care, with advances in technology, will aid any government when it comes to looking after an ageing population.
The House of Commons library noted in March that the overall adult population grew by 10% between 2001 and 2011 but the number of adults aged over 65 grew by 11% and those aged 85 rose by 24% in the same period.
People aged over 85 are more likely to need care. A report by King’s College London said the number of people dying from dementia is expected to rise from 59,000 in 2014 to 219,000 in 2040.
There was much talk during the election campaign of a so-called “dementia tax”. But what did the Conservatives actually say? According to a report here, the government said in its pre-election manifesto that it would:
- Protect at least £100,000 of your life savings.
- Ensure no-one has to sell their home to pay for care, with costs recouped after death.
- Put an “absolute limit” on what people need to pay for their care.
- Introduce new protections for carers.
- Guarantee a double-lock for pensions.
- Protect pensioner benefits.
- Continue to provide the Winter Fuel Payment for the poorest pensioners who need it.
The reason this policy is more likely to affect those with dementia is that they need to spend hundreds of thousands on care – unlike those with other conditions, such as cancer and diabetes. This is because the care that you receive when you have dementia is predominantly social care (such as help with washing, dressing and eating) and this is means-tested, meaning you pay.
Whichever side of the political fence you sit on, there is one thing that remains true, and that is the cost of social care is going to rise. We live in an ageing society. The Alzhemiers Society estimates that a typical person’s bill for dementia care would take 125 years to save for. What also remains true is that overwhelmingly people would choose to live in their own homes if they had the choice, seeking home care rather than residential, and they will therefore be affected by the “dementia tax”.
As a support or alternative to domiciliary care there are affordable solutions out there that mean an elderly person can get the full support they need to remain in their own home. Telecare sensors can enable people to live independently for longer, reduce stress on people with dementia and carers and can potentially enhance the quality of life for people with dementia.
The Lifeline personal alarm is a quick and simple way of getting help at the press of a button if you have an accident or emergency in your home. You may be unable to get to the phone, for instance after falling or because you feel ill. Welbeing provide’s a 24-hour, 365-day monitoring service giving you the freedom to live your life independently knowing that you can obtain assistance when you need it.
Other sensors such as smoke detectors and flood detectors can help to manage risks within the home or care environment and provide a means to call for immediate assistance if required, providing support for the user and peace of mind to friends and family.
More and more people will now be looking for cost effective solutions for care at home to avoid having to pay catastrophic costs for their care.
Read more about how telecare can help support dementia