Baroness Boycott, a patron of the Alzheimer's Society, laments a burning injustice

My Dad, like so many of his generation, was careful about money. He counted every penny. He was the kind of man who thought that having an overdraft was stealing from the bank. He worked hard all of his life in the hope that he would one day be able to leave my sister and me with a nest egg when he died.But, in 2001, any hope of that was wiped out in one short, shocking sentence in a doctor's office: 'I'm sorry to have to tell you, but your father has Alzheimer's.'I clutched my husband's hand. The words filled me with dread. But even then, I couldn't begin to imagine the trauma we would have to endure during the next three years before my Dad's death – not just the awful physical and mental symptoms, but the callous refusal of government to assist our family with the huge financial cost.As the Daily Mail revealed last week, one in three people with dementia have to sell their home to pay for care that can cost as much as £100,000 a year.Thanks to an outrageously misguided definition of what constitutes 'health care', the expense of carers, equipment and care homes are treated by the Government not as medical bills but as 'social' costs – to be met by the sufferer.The state steps in only if the patient has less than £23,250 in savings, and that includes the value of any property.That dementia is singled out in this way defies belief. It is nothing short of scandalous that hard-working families have shelled out £15billion in the past two years to care for loved ones. If my father had been diagnosed with cancer – as my Mum was, almost 50 years ago – the NHS would have surrounded him with care and concern, practical and emotional support. But because he had an illness that was digging into his brain, he had to be cared for at his own expense.It is as though people with dementia are being punished by our Government for having the temerity to die that way.At first, before I understood what dementia meant, I found Dad's lapses of memory lovable and amusing, or at worst a bit annoying. This was 20 years ago, when society's understanding of the disease was, like mine, far from developed.But his behaviour soon became strange and frightening, to him and us: He couldn't remember people's names, he couldn't remember where he was meant to be, he even forgot to feed his dog, or he fed his dog five times in a day.Within a couple of days of the diagnosis, we were paying for Dad's care. I was working in London, and my sister lives abroad, so we hired carers. Initially, they came twice a day, to cook, chat and see he was OK.I tried to visit every weekend, but it was a three-hour drive and I didn't always make it.After 15 months, Dad needed two carers w ...Read more

Espoir Médecin Avant Valeur Emploi Désespoir Homme Equipement Peuple Gouvernement Explosion Maison Boycott Soeur Inquiétude far Medical Prudence Social Cabinet Facture Changement Pétition Armée Argent Merci Point jaime Banque Famille Hôpital Local Année koora Heure Patient Émotif Journée Prochainement Novembre Fin De Semaine La semaine passée Mars Après Midi Soutien Peur akhyeb Impossible Horrible Retard Office National de l'éléctricité et de l'eau potable La Mine

Articles similaires