The future of dementia care and social investment

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

The UK is experiencing a major demographic shift. Over the next two decades, the number of people aged 85 or over will more than double, and in England, almost a quarter of the population will be over 65. The scale of these changes present significant challenges and questions for individuals, families and communities.

One such challenge that comes with an ageing population is the increasing number of people developing dementia and the people needed to look after them. At present there are 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia. This number is estimated to grow to more than 1 million by 2020 and 2 million by 2050, when there will also be an anticipated 1 million carers.

With cuts to social care continuing until 2020, and the implementation of the Care Act 2014 which is likely to result in more assessments, it is expected that there will be a significant funding gap emerging between the number of people diagnosed with dementia and the ability of local authorities to pay for their support and care.

In the report, ‘Remember Me’ carried out by the Guardian newspaper, it was found that social investment will play an ever-important role in funding and growing the latest wave of innovations in relation to dementia care and this, ‘could help to plug the funding gap’.

The Guardian report analysed the dementia market and a range of social enterprises already providing products and services for people with dementia and their carers. They found that social investors can have the most impact in helping to scale the best existing tools and supporting the development of entirely new ones.

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