Insurance United Against Dementia (IUAD) Day: 7 November 2019
RedArc is backing the Alzheimer’s Society’s Insurance United Against Dementia (IUAD) campaign, and hopes that in particular, the plight of the ‘younger’ dementia patients will be highlighted as there are currently 42,000* people under the age of sixty-five living with dementia in the UK.
Christine Husbands, managing director, RedArc Nurses said: “Very few people adequately consider the risks of changes in their mental capacity as they get older, and even less would imagine they’d need support for dementia before they retire. However, with the development of drugs to relieve some of the symptoms of dementia, many people may be able to remain at work for longer, which means insurers and employers need to give special consideration to those affected.”
RedArc’s experienced nurses understand that the support required by dementia patients can vary greatly over time. Some examples of the support the company provides on a daily basis include:
- Emotional support for the individual and immediate family in dealing their diagnosis
- Providing assistance to the individual in communicating with their employer
- Signposting to services available from NHS, charities and other support groups
- Information regarding the illness, treatment, medication and implications for the whole family
- Help people prepare for consultations with their specialist
- Practical advice such as sourcing equipment
- Providing relevant literature
- Advice on sourcing respite care
- Practical and, emotional support for the main carer
- Bereavement support for the dementia patient if they struggle to deal with the loss of a close friends or family member
- Bereavement support for the family if their relative with dementia dies
- Training and advice for the employer
RedArc believes that insurers and employers both have the ability to put in place measures to help dementia sufferers. The Alzheimer’s Society has an excellent practical guide but most would also benefit from using a third-party buffer to offer the vulnerable person both impartiality and discretion. Using a third party also ensures that training for staff and the support for the individual are based on the most up to date industry practices and thinking.
Husbands continued: “We know that as well as providing general support, each individual may require specialist support given their specific circumstances. That’s a big ask for any insurer or employer but it’s nothing out of the ordinary for organisations that specialise in this area.”
Progressive and longevity of the disease
Insurers and employers often need support in dealing with the progressive nature of the disease as the individual and their family can experience different needs and emotions as the illness enters new and more challenging phases. In particular, those who show signs of dementia at an early stage may need years, perhaps decades of support, which can be extremely wearing on family carers. This longevity represents another challenging factor that needs addressing by the industry.
Christine concluded: “We’re increasingly seeing people suffer from this incredibly cruel degenerative disease presenting at a younger age. Indeed, as future generations will be working into their later years, this is an illness that more and more employers are going to have to deal with on an ever more regular basis. Until a cure is found, we’re confident that by working together as an industry we can challenge the current norms in dementia support and help make this difficult journey a more bearable one for the individuals and their families.”
*Prince, M et al (2014) Dementia UK: Update Second Edition report produced by King’s College London and the London School of Economics for the Alzheimer’s Society