Dementia in the News, November 2022

Government should provide insurance against dementia care costs, David Cameron says

The former prime minister says there is a precedent because "many, many years ago" government protected businesses against the "catastrophic costs of terrorism".

The government should consider providing people with insurance in case they need to pay large fees for social care, David Cameron has said.

The former prime minister, who described dementia as a "world of darkness" and the "health crisis of our time", is also urging Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to look again at capping the amount people have to pay for care.

He told Sky News that dementia appeared to be a "classic case for where you should have some form of insurance to try and deal with these catastrophic costs" which are "devastating for lots of families".

But because private companies have not provided policies, Mr Cameron said the "conclusion I would come to is that government needs to form some sort of partnership with insurance or perhaps even provide the insurance itself".

There is a precedent for that, he said, as many years ago, government protected businesses from the "catastrophic costs of terrorism".

Mr Hunt, a former health secretary, is "very aware of these issues", Mr Cameron said, and a "big supporter of research into Alzheimer's and dementia".

The former prime minister said the fight against major diseases was a marathon - and while doctors battling cancer are on mile 18 or 19, those researching dementia are only on mile nine or 10 - not even half way.

He also said lessons could be learned from the COVID vaccine taskforce - and that a dementia diagnosis should not be considered an inevitable part of ageing.

Mr Cameron, who left Downing Street in 2016, said he realised the scale of the problem when he was still an MP and saw a "son in his 50s talking to a mother in her 70s and she had no idea who he was - you could see the heartbreak on his face".

Nursing homes were getting "bigger and bigger" and more and more people were "slipping into this sort of world of darkness".

Read more at Sky News

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