The hidden cost of dementia care

A new report from Alzheimer’s Research UK illustrates how the condition has a huge impact on not only those who have to undergo its debilitating effect, but also their friends, families and loved ones. There are an estimated 700,000 people in the UK who care for close friends or relatives that suffer from Alzheimer’s. The report – Dementia in the Family – personalises their experiences through its study of four families.

While there are certainly some positives, such as the rewarding feeling that comes with caring for a vulnerable loved one, there are severe challenges that the families face. Many have to cope with difficult changes in their loved ones’ behaviours, including violence and aggression in some instances. The relationship with the family member often changes. Furthermore, families involved often have to manage the increased costs that caring for a loved one carries, in addition to finding themselves isolated as a result of having to spend their free time providing care.  Examples are also provided of family members who have given up promotions that they do not feel they could balance with their duties. Many also worry about the long-term costs associated with what can be a very drawn out condition.

It is therefore clear that caring for a family member with dementia can be an enormous challenge, not only emotionally, but also practically and financially. However, when scaled up to the 700,000 who do this across the country, it becomes apparent it is a significant problem and more consideration needs to be given to supporting family carers.  Hundreds of thousands of families could be on the edge of poverty due: the 2014 State of Caring report found that a staggering 51% of those caring for loved ones struggle to pay the bills, and 35% cut back on essential spending.

The economic fallout from this may not just be on an individual level however, as the report suggests many see their economic opportunities limited, reducing earnings for large swathes of people. Not only are these groups unable to play a full part in the workforce, but the government’s welfare bill is pushed up as a result of their economic inactivity. Furthermore, studies link being a carer for a family member to decreased physical health – putting a further strain on public finances.

Cutting publically funded care services is therefore an absurd move on the government’s part. Councils’ budgets are already under strain, and this is leading to a reduction in the quantity and quality of services that vulnerable people, like Alzheimer’s sufferers receive. While this may cut costs in the short term, it will also make more people dependent on family members for meeting their care needs – making the aforementioned issues all the more acute.

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Jobs FAQs

What shifts or rotas are available for professional carers?

Our branches have a wide variety of hours and rotas which means it’s possible to find shifts that fit in with your life situation, whether you want a full time role or are just looking for a few hours a week. All that we ask is that you commit to the hours you can do two weeks in advance.

Do I need care experience to join?

Six months’ professional care experience is ideal - such as a domiciliary carer, care assistant, homecare worker, support worker or healthcare assistant. However, if you are new to care some branches do offer training leading to care certificates, so please contact the recruitment team to discuss on 0808 239 9716.

Do I need a driving licence?

A full clean driving is required for some roles, but not all. Job roles normally state if a driving licence is required, but if you are unsure then please contact the recruitment team on 0808 239 9716.

What pre-employment checks do you do?

To join Prestige Nursing & Care as a professional carer you will be required to apply for a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, unless you are registered with the update service.

We can help you apply via your local branch. When you work with children and vulnerable adults a DBS check is a legal requirement. Find out more about DBS checks: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service/about.

We also require two professional references, one of which should be your current or most recent employer.

Finally, you will be required to provide proof of eligibility to work in the UK, NI number, ID and proof of address. Your recruiter will talk you through all requirements and support you all the way.

What training do I need to complete before starting work?

You will need to complete both online e-learning modules and virtual training via Microsoft Teams. This is very flexible and can be completed from home as long as you have a compatible device. Find out more about the training we offer.

Is the training free?

Yes, the training is completely free.

Do you offer regular patterns of work?

Yes, our branches offer a wide variety of hours and shift patterns.

Will I be employed by Prestige Nursing & Care?

You would become a member of our team with a contract for services. You would be eligible for things like SSP and holiday, as well as a NEST workplace pension.

How old do you have to be to work as a carer?

You need to be 18 years old to join our care team and there is no upper age limit.

How often will I get paid?

We pay all our professional carers weekly.