Alzheimer’s charity says people forced to quit or change work hours to care for loved ones
Businesses in England lost £3.2bn last year because people had to leave their job or change their working patterns to care for someone with dementia, a leading Alzheimer’s charity has said.
Of the 355,000 people of working age caring for a loved one with dementia, more than 147,000 have had to reduce their work hours or have had difficulty balancing work and caring. More than 112,000 people had to give up their job in the past year, with many retiring early because of their caring commitments.
The research, conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research for the Alzheimer’s Society, revealed that the cost of dementia to England’s businesses has increased by £1.6bn in the past four years and is expected to rise to £6.3bn by 2040.
Jeremy Hughes, the chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Up and down the country families are desperately trying and often failing to get the good-quality dementia care their loved ones need. Instead, more than 100,000 people have had no choice but to leave their jobs and try to care for their loved ones themselves.
“The knock-on cost to businesses is only going to get bigger, with more and more people set to develop dementia, and no solution put in place to sort out social care. It’s devastating for people with dementia, devastating for their families and carers, a drain on the NHS and now we see how badly it’s affecting our economy.
“This can’t go on. The government must overhaul social care to ensure a minimum standard of care and security for everyone with dementia. It should work like the NHS, schools and other public services, where everyone gets quality care based on their need, not their wallet.”
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