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Calls For Government To Focus On Care Crisis Renewed

Calls For Government To Focus On Care Crisis Renewed

New Prime Minister Vowed Fix To Crisis ‘Once And For All’ Last Month

Calls for the care crisis to become a top priority for government have been renewed with Dame Barbara Windsor’s open letter to the new prime minister.

In one of his first speeches as PM last month, Boris Johnson promised to fix the crisis in social care “once and for all” to provide “every older person the dignity and security they deserve”.

On 6 August 2019 Dame Barbara Windsor, who has Alzheimer’s, launched an open letter with her husband asking the prime minister to “sort out” the social care crisis, urging others to sign the letter before it makes its way to Downing Street in September.

Alzheimer’s Society, for which Dame Barbara is an ambassador, has predicted the number of people living on their own with dementia will double from 120,000 to 240,000 by 2039. The overall number of people living with dementia is anticipated to reach two million by 2051.

Andrea Jones, a later life planning expert at Irwin Mitchell said: “Mental capacity is one of those taboo subjects that people fail to discuss with their families when they are fit and well, but don’t appreciate the impact of until it affects them or a loved one. 

“Dementia is becoming increasingly prevalent as we face an ageing population. One way to understand just how much this disease affects so many is to become a Dementia Friend to better understand the difficulties that people with dementia come across on a daily basis. 

“The more understanding we have as a country, the better prepared we will be to be able to care for people affected by dementia.”

Specialist later life planning lawyers at Irwin Mitchell argue lasting powers of attorney (LPA) documents for health and for finances are two of the most important documents a person can make in their lifetime – yet uptake for them is incredibly low, with less than 1% of the population holding one according to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).

The OPG announced in June its intentions as part of its business plan to raise awareness of LPAs, with a targeted campaign announced to encourage the British public to sign up.

Andrea continued: “LPAs can be made easily and are as important, if not more so than a Will as they affect the donor during their lifetime – yet they're criminally underused assets.

“It's never pleasant to think that one’s mental capacity will no longer be there, but with the ageing population and record diagnoses of dementia, it's more important than ever to consider taking one out.

“It's vital that more awareness around health and financial LPAs is raised so more people can know their trusted family members will be able to look after their health and finances to the best of their ability, if they are ever unable to make those decisions themselves.”

Published: August 2019

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August 2019

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Kelly Greig