Dementia carer says system 'needs to be cured' as calls grow for radical change to social care

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A woman has urged more action to help fix the social care system in Wales after she gave up her job to care for her mother with dementia.

An investigation by the Alzheimer's Society has revealed a 27% rise in people with dementia being rushed into hospital due to inadequate social care.

It also revealed that nearly three quarters of family carers said their loved one with dementia had experienced medical issues because of a lack of support.

Sarah Williams is a carer from Newport. Her 86-year-old mother Brenda was diagnosed with dementia six years ago.

Brenda has been living with dementia for six years

"I couldn't find good rest-bite care for the day for my mum so I had to give up my job to look after my mother", she said.

"That was my decision but I felt at the time it was the right one.

"My grandmother actually suffered from dementia and she passed away in the late 1980s so my mum and her sister both had to give up their jobs then .

"You do feel like you're going through a déjà vu and the system doesn't feel like it's set up to care."

There are 45,000 people in Wales living with dementia.

The Alzheimer's Society investigation found that in 2019, nearly two thirds of all emergency admissions of people with dementia were for avoidable illnesses and injuries such as infections, falls and dehydration - all caused by failures in care. 

Sarah gave up her job to look after her mother

The society is calling on the new Welsh Labour Government to follow through on their manifesto commitment to develop a social care system that is free on the point of need.

As all three of the other parties in the Senedd backed social care reform in their manifestos, the charity is hoping to see cross-party support for this within the next few months.

Sarah Williams added, "My words to them would be 'less words, more action'. Fix the system - it needs fixing. The care system needs to be cured."

Sarah is urging the government to fix the system and to take action

A Welsh Government spokesperson said, "We understand that when a person with dementia is accessing urgent and emergency care they are often at their most vulnerable.

"It is vital that health and social care professionals work together and consider risk as part of the care planning and management of people with dementia when A&E admission is unavoidable.

"A key aim of the Dementia Action Plan for Wales is to ensure that teams around the individual are able to respond quickly when challenges or crises occur.

"We are committed to pursuing a sustainable UK solution for social care. We would welcome early and active engagement in any proposals the UK Government may bring forward - and urge action soon."