Inspector Morse and Lewis actor Kevin Whately and Karen Weech spoke to Daybreak about their struggle to find a care home for their mothers, who both had Alzheimer's.
Whately said too many people begin looking for a care home when they are in crisis and then become "stuck" looking at places that "won't do":
A charity is calling on ministers and the care sector to work together to boost care standards.
They are asking for an improvement on public understanding about quality of care dementia sufferers are offered.
Society has such low expectations of care homes that people are settling for average. Throughout our lives we demand the best for ourselves and our children. Why do we expect less for our parents? We need Government and care homes to work together to lift up expectations so people know they have the right to demand the best.
A report has warned that people have such low expectations of care homes that they "settle for average".
According to the Alzheimer's Society, out of 1,000 relatives and carers surveyed:
- Just over 40 per cent believe their loved ones enjoyed good quality of life
- Less than 30 per cent said loved ones received a poor quality of life
A separate poll of 2,000 UK adults found:
- Two thirds feel the care sector is not doing enough to combat abuse in care homes
- Many said they feel "scared" at the thought of moving into a care home in later life
Fewer than half of the people suffering from dementia, who currently live in care homes, enjoy a good quality of life, a charity has warned.
The report from the Alzheimer's Society also found that record numbers of people in care homes have the condition.
It said 80 per cent of people in residential care homes have either memory loss or dementia.
Previous estimates put the number of people with the condition at just over 60 per cent.
The Alzheimer's Society is encouraging people to learn about dementia in order to make those suffering from the disease feel included and understood.
"People with dementia want to remain independent and engaged in their communities by continuing to socialise with their friends and family and be as active as possible. As the brain gradually shuts down, people with dementia sometimes need a helping hand to go about their daily lives and feel included in their local community which is why the Dementia Friends initiative is of such importance and will help to improve the quality of life for someone living with dementia."
Alzheimer's Society research shows that 41% of people in the North East feel they have a role to play to support people with dementia, but only 48% feel they have a good understanding of the disease.
'Dementia Friends' is an initiative to help a million people understand how to speak sensitively to a person suffering from dementia. The project helps people to make those with dementia feel included and understood.
It is a condition that causes memory loss, mental deterioration and confusion, and the number of people developing dementia in our region is rising.
More than eighteen hundred people were diagnosed last year, bringing the total to more than twenty thousand.
However, as Dan Ashby reports, charities say nearly the same number again are living with Dementia - without knowing it.
You can watch his full report below.
Another eighteen hundred people have been diagnosed with dementia in our region in the last year, according to figures out today - but charities warn that there are more than sixteen thousand people here who do not know they have it.
Ron Shuttleworth discovered that he had Alzheimers four years ago and the early diagnosis has helped him and his wife keep his condition in check.
Ron Shuttleworth, from Ponteland, was diagnosed with dementia four years ago.
He suffers from short-term memory loss, but he jokes "He can't remember that."
His wife Maria says that many people are frightened of Alzheimers, but if they get diagnosed then life becomes much easier.
The couple are part of a 'memory group' in Hexham and also get support from Carers Northumberland.