Barnsley East MP Stephanie Peacock joined the Alzheimer’s Society photography exhibition in Parliament recently to showcase the human cost of the dementia care crisis.
The photo exhibition, ‘Dementia Care: The Crisis Behind Closed Doors’, depicts the human cost of a care system that the charity claims is unfair, unsustainable and in urgent need of reform up and down the country.
Stephanie met with people affected by dementia to hear about how the crisis has affected them and their families.
Alzheimer’s Society is calling for a Dementia Fund in the upcoming Spending Review to end the dementia penalty, bringing fairness into the system and improving quality of care.
Said Stephanie “I am proud to stand with people affected by dementia and make the case for more funding for dementia care in the upcoming spending review.
“One million people will have dementia by 2021 and it is vital that we are able to deliver high quality dementia care to everyone that needs it.”
Stephanie has also joined 80 charities in calling for better support for disabled people.
She recently attended a Parliamentary event hosted by the Disability Benefit Consortium (DBC), which represents 80 national disability organisations.
The DBC has recently undertaken research that found changes to the welfare system over the past ten years have left disabled people financially four times worse off than non-disabled people.
The research describes how many people have experienced cuts to their benefits, and disabled people have lost on average payments of around £1,200 each year because of changes to the system, compared to an average of £300 for people without a disability.
Households with one disabled adult and one disabled child have lost out the most, with average losses of over £4,300 per year.
For disabled people, these benefits provide vital financial support to help them with the extra costs they face and so when it is taken away they do not only lose money, they lose access to transport, their independence, and in some cases, their jobs.
The DBC claims that the failure to include disability premiums as part of Universal Credit, and assessment criteria that poorly represents the needs of disabled people are just two examples of the problems that are leaving disabled people worse off.
The Barnsley MP heard from speakers at the event about some of the issues disabled people face.
The DBC, which represents disabled people and people with long-term conditions including Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and mental health is calling on the Government to make urgent improvements to the system to enable a fairer benefits system that works for everyone.
Said Stephanie: “Damaging cuts to the welfare system over the best part of the last decade by the Tories have removed a vital safety net many disabled people depend on.
“The system should be there to help vulnerable people, but under this Government the impact on their health and well-being has been devastating.
“I’m supporting calls by the DBC for urgent reform to our welfare system to provide support for those who need it, not force disabled people to shoulder the burden of Tory austerity.”