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Families caring for dementia patients in UK reaching crisis point, says charity

Soaring numbers of families struggling to care for someone with dementia have hit a “crisis point” with nowhere to turn for help when their loved one puts themselves or others at risk of harm, a charity has said.

More than 700,000 people in the UK look after a relative with dementia. Many feel they can no longer cope with alarming situations where they or their relative are at immediate risk of being harmed, according to Dementia UK.

Dementia can affect a person’s ability to manage their reactions to difficult thoughts and feelings. This can lead to them experiencing such intense states of distress that they become verbally or physically aggressive, putting themselves and those around them at risk of harm.

The charity says carers and their loved ones are being failed because health and social care support services are already stretched to their limit, which has led to a surge in calls to its helpline.

Sheridan Coker, the deputy clinical lead at Dementia UK, said: “We’re increasingly being contacted by families who are at risk of harm with no one to turn to. We receive calls where the person with dementia has become so distressed that they have physically assaulted the person caring for them, often a family member."

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Source: The Guardian, 31 July 2023


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