Alzheimer's Society responds to ONS data showing three times the usual number of deaths in care homes
Since the outbreak of coronavirus in the UK Alzheimer’s Society have been campaigning to get social care put on an equal footing with the NHS, including coordinating a response with Care England and other charities, and writing to Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to call for a dedicated national strategy to support care home residents and their families through the pandemic.
In response to the new ONS data released today, Fiona Carragher, Director of Research and Influencing said:
“Sadly, devastation continues in care homes with more than three times the usual number of deaths than average reported clearly showing the cost of not putting social care on an equal footing with the NHS.
"We need to know why the death toll in care homes remains so high in addition to coronavirus-reported deaths.
"70% of care home residents have dementia and we’re deeply concerned that this indicates an increase in deaths due to dementia, caused by isolation and reduction in care workers. Each of these deaths is a heart-breaking loss to their friends, families and carers which is why the Government must honour their commitment to ensure care homes get testing for all residents and staff and the protective equipment they need.
"We now approach our third month of lockdown, still with a tragically high number of care home deaths.
“Meanwhile, people with dementia are really struggling with the lack of visits from loved ones. We need a plan to put in place safe social contact for people with dementia, so that their wellbeing and health is not irreversibly damaged by this pandemic.
"The calls we receive on our Dementia Connect support line show just how worried people are about the impact of this, so we’re asking the public to support our Emergency Appeal in any way they can to raise funds to ensure people affected by dementia don’t feel abandoned.”