A former NHS dementia specialist and founder of live-in care platform, Hometouch, has called for a stronger recognition for dementia care in the upcoming Social Care Green Paper.
With 40,000 people under 65 living with dementia in the UK, Dr Jamie Wilson said he would like to see a focus on the epidemic as he believes it’s at the crux of many of the social care system’s problems.
While proposals such as an auto-enrolment style elderly care tax for workers aged over 40 have already been suggested, there are rumours that the paper will disappoint those who would like to see greater reform.
Dr Wilson said: “To fix it we need a more radical approach to tackling the crisis that goes beyond simply addressing the current funding gaps. We need to act now to deliver a long-term preventative, technology-driven and a person-centred approach to tackling this need.”
He would like to see a “proactive and preventative” approach, with a focus on brain health to reduce the number of people needing care in the future, as he said that 40% of dementia cases are preventable.
Alongside this, Dr Wilson wishes to see better use of technology in social care, to capitalise on digital tools and data to support and empower carers, help diagnose dementia earlier and streamline the delivery of care.
Dr Wilson said: “We need bold ideas – such as care miles, which could harness the latest data assets and technology to incentivise healthy habits. Or pre and post-retirement brain health checks to monitor for cognitive decline.
“And crucially, we need to focus on delivering care which enables people to stay in their own homes – and get back to their own home quickly after a stay in hospital, using the latest digital solutions to make this option more accessible and efficient.”