In 2014, over 50,000 people in Great Britain will have to quit their jobs to care for family members with Alzheimer’s, according to new research done by Public Health England.
As reported in the Telegraph, the study showed that one in eight — or about 550,000 people — in Britain are caring for someone with dementia. Over half of them are attempting to juggle work and supporting their family members. On average, caregivers shoulder 18 extra hours of weekly labour on top of their paid work.
An additional 66,000 people made significant adjustments to their work, such as reducing their hours, to care for their loved ones.
In the past, many have been forced from the working sphere prematurely, since they don’t get adequate support from their employers and their communities. This year will be no exception.
These conditions have economic repercussions. In Britain, hours lost to caregiving costs £1.6-billion annually, as employees are forced to take time off work to support their loved ones.
At the moment, about 700,000 people in England are living with dementia — a number set to double in the next 30 years.
While the study found that businesses said they wanted to actively do more to support those with dementia and their carers, few had actually implemented adjustments such as extended leave or access to counsellors through work.
According to the Telegraph, England’s Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, personally addressed the growing issue of dementia earlier this week.
“Dementia isn’t just a health condition,” he said. “It attacks the fabric of our society and can take a huge toll on the families and friends of those affected by the disease.
“ I am urging everyone – families, communities and businesses to come together to ensure that people with dementia can continue to live fulfilling and rewarding lives.”
The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People With Alzheimer’s Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss in Later Life
by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins Widely considered a “bible” for carers of those with Alzheimer’s, this book has been around for over 30 years. The book covers everything from financial concerns, to the emotional issues of caring, to practical day-to-day tips, as well as sections on residential living and care facilities.