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Terry Pratchett - Alzheimers - Tories - Carers UK Forum

Terry Pratchett - Alzheimers - Tories

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008 ... ce.health1

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Bestselling novelist Terry Pratchett won a standing ovation at the Tory conference today when he made a moving plea for more to be done to combat the rising toll from Alzheimer's disease.

Pratchett, author of the Discworld series of books, was recently diagnosed with an early-onset form of the disease.

Warning that the country was facing a "tsunami" of dementia suffering, Pratchett said that the load on the NHS and society as a whole could become "unbearable".

The author, who was invited as a guest speaker, said it was "unthinkable" that the current state of services for those affected by the disease would continue.
I watched this debate. Also on the panel was Carers UK member Marianne Talbot who is a carer for her parents with dementia.
The work load on the N.H.S. would be even greater if it were not for the 450-000 carers on the allowance and the 5/6 million unpaid carers if we as carers walked away from the care work we do within our families the cost would cripple the N.H.S. overnight.
Untill we find a cure for alzheimers / dementia carers will still fill that black hole and save the N.H.S. from banckruptcy.


GEORGE======
The work load on the N.H.S. would be even greater if it were not for the 450-000 carers on the allowance and the 5/6 million unpaid carers if we as carers walked away from the care work we do within our families the cost would cripple the N.H.S. overnight.
Untill we find a cure for alzheimers / dementia carers will still fill that black hole and save the N.H.S. from banckruptcy.
GEORGE======
You've made the very common economic mistake George - Alzheimers costs the NHS almost nothing at the moment because there ARE no real treatments, so it all falls on carers and social services. The thing that worries the NHS is that someone DOES discover a viable treatment, 'cos you bet it would cost real money.. Image

Anyway we are all going to die of something, someday, and the longer we all live the greater the tax burden on the few people left of working age... just keeping us alive for longer simply stacks up bigger and more expensive problems. What the NHS is really hoping for is a damn good flu epidemic to clear the backlog ... Image Image Image Image
I would think that the knock- on costs of Alzheimers are high;how many broken hips, from falls while confused,how many stitches due to falls while confused?

Broken hips cost the NHS a lot of money, as it may take a lot of recovery time,plus how many then develop pneumonia while they are inpatient?I may be wrong, perhaps people with Alzheimers don't fall any more, but when I worked on the Orthopaedic ward during my training, it was known as the ward for "Old ladies and young men", and for the most part, that was true. Broken hips and motorcycle accidents probably took up around 85% of the beds space while I was there. (And no, it wasn't the old ladies who had the motor bike accidents!!)
Not sure if anyone saw it but he was on BBC Breakfast this morning.

Sam_B
We need more people like Terry Pratchett to 'come out of the closet' re Alzheimers and dementia generally.

There is still a stigma attached to these particular illnesses - when people ask me about my Mum they automatically lower their voice as if someone had just died. They tend to speak to me as if she wasn't there. My Mum is at the stage where she knows that she has dementia and that she is losing her faculties; this is upsetting enough for her without having people ignore her as well.

It's a standing joke in our family that if it's good enough for Lady Thatcher then it's good enough for us Image Image

But, seriously, there needs to be a lot more education about dementia and if more high profile people owned up to it, perhaps the government would do more to fund essential research into causes and treatment.

susieq
susieq, I would guess that people are not so much 'ignoring' your Mum, they just do not know what she does/does not understand and are fearful of saying the wrong thing. I obviously don't know if they are only vaguely aware of what illness she has, or perhaps are unaware what degree of understanding she has.

My father does not have dementia, he is physically disabled by muscular dystrophy and in a wheelchair, but occasionally people ask me things when they should ask him - I just divert it when I can, with 'What do you think, Dad?' or even an outright, 'Ask Dad, he will tell you what he wants'. It's the 'Does He Take Sugar?' syndrome, it is all around!