Rosie Cooper MP for West Lancashire has spoken out in support of Coronavirus Action Day, this Monday 1 March, where charities are calling on local health and social care providers to develop Recovery Plans for people with dementia.
Alzheimer’s Society is working in partnership with Tide, Dementia UK and John’s Campaign to remember the lives of those with dementia who have been lost to the virus and recognise the emotional impact of the pandemic on loved ones and carers a year on from the UK’s first national lockdown.
An Alzheimer’s Society survey involving almost 2,000 respondents affected by dementia last year showed the pandemic’s toll goes even further than deaths from the virus. An overwhelming 92% of people said the pandemic had caused a more rapid increase in their loved one’s dementia symptoms; 28% of family carers said they’d seen an ‘unmanageable decline’ in their health, while the charity’s support services have been used over 3.6 million times since the pandemic began.
Rosie Cooper MP said:
“I’m proud to show my support for Alzheimer’s Society’s Coronavirus Action Day. While the devastating effects of the past year on people with dementia and their carers cannot be undone, the Government can meet its promise of care and recovery to those who have faced the greatest loss and hardship over the past year and champion a social care system that is able to meet the needs of those living with dementia.
“Those affected by dementia have been disproportionally impacted by Covid-19. They have been the hardest hit. A staggering 34,000 people with dementia have died. In addition, nearly 12,000 people in care homes where 70% of residents have dementia have died from the virus since January alone, a third higher than previously thought. From the high death rates in care homes, to the significant cognitive decline for those who live in the community, to the rising mental health challenges for unpaid carers, the pandemic has had a severe impact, while exposing our fragmented social care system for all to see.
“I’m urging the people of West Lancashire to join me in supporting Coronavirus Action Day.”
An Alzheimer’s Society’s spokesperson said:
“Coronavirus Action Day stands to mark, remember, and call for an end to this inequity, challenging the Government to lay down its promise of recovery and care to those who have faced the greatest loss and hardship over the past year.
“Nearly 27,000 people with dementia have died from coronavirus, and the largest increase in excess non-COVID-19 deaths was in people with dementia.
“Loved ones are an integral part of the care system and when removed from that, a gap in the care and wellbeing of individuals begins to form. For people with dementia, this is particularly heightened, with loved ones not only knowing the resident’s needs, preferences and personalities best, but often acting as their memory – linking them to both the past and the present.
“Urgent action is needed. Local health and social care providers must now develop Recovery Plans with the needs of people affected by dementia at its heart. Coronavirus has exposed the dire state of our broken social care system – a lasting legacy from this crisis must be universal social care that we can all be proud of, free at point of use, like the NHS, like education – and providing quality care for every person with dementia who needs it.
For more information about Coronavirus Action Day visit alzheimers.org.uk