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Are our workplaces at risk of a dementia care crisis?
Many workers caring for loved ones suffering from dementia are being forced to quit their jobs or cut their hours in order to support them, due to the lack of availability of professional dementia care. This could have a huge impact on British businesses, with more than 75% of companies afraid business will be affected.
This latest research, carried out by the charity Carers UK’s business group ‘Employers for Carers’, has revealed that 7 out of 10 firms expect to lose qualified members of staff due to care commitments and that two-thirds of firms were concerned these commitments could impact the productivity levels and health of their employees.
Around 6.5 million people across the UK provide some form of care to family members, and 90% of businesses surveyed were aware of their staff having care commitments for family members with dementia. It is feared that the actual figures are much higher; due to the stigma surrounding dementia, many employees don’t talk about care commitments outside work.
The UK government estimates that by the end of the decade, the number of people caring for family members will rise to 850,000 and that the UK could face substantial economic loss.
The Chief Executive of Carers UK commented: “The experiences from carers and employers captured in this research show that the current support needs of people caring for loved ones with dementia are not being met, especially by care and support services.”