The cost of social care for people living with dementia will nearly treble by 2040, a report by the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre (CPEC) has found.
The research, which was commissioned by Alzheimer’s Society, shows that by 2040, while the number of people living with dementia in the UK is expected to nearly double (to 1.6 million), the cost of social care is expected to almost triple, increasing from £15.7 to £45.4 billion. It falls to people living with dementia and their families to pay the majority of these costs.
The analysis, led by Raphael Wittenberg, Associate Professorial Research Fellow at CPEC, found that the number of people living with more advanced dementia will rise more rapidly than the number of people living with mild and moderate dementia. As such, people will have higher associated care needs and more people will need social care for longer, increasing average social care costs.
Mr Wittenberg said, “Our modelling shows that all four countries of the UK face very substantial costs of dementia. Northern Ireland is projected to have the largest increase, with the number of people living with dementia rising by 95%, while in Wales it is an increase of 70%, the smallest increase among the four countries. This is because the older population is projected to increase much faster in Northern Ireland than in the other three countries.”
The study also estimates that families are providing £13.9 billion a year in unpaid care for people living with dementia. This is also projected to increase to £35.7 billion by 2040.
The total cost of dementia to the UK economy has risen to £34.7 billion and will continue to rise to £94.1 billion by 2040. This includes costs to the NHS, paid social care and unpaid care.
The analysis builds on models developed within the CPEC-led Modelling Outcome and Cost Impacts of Interventions for Dementia (MODEM) study, and will add to the body of knowledge on the costs of dementia care, informing social care outcomes and use of resources.