MP tells of plight of dementia sufferers

GEOFFREY Cox, MP for Torridge and West Devon, highlighted the problems faced by people suffering from dementia during a Commons Debate on the care of the elderly. Mr Cox also raised the difficulties faced by rural authorities, such as Devon County Counci

GEOFFREY Cox, MP for Torridge and West Devon, highlighted the problems faced by people suffering from dementia during a Commons Debate on the care of the elderly.

Mr Cox also raised the difficulties faced by rural authorities, such as Devon County Council, which he said, received one of the worst Government grants for social care in the country.

The debate came as the Government published a new green paper consulting on options for reform of the funding of social care.

The MP strongly advocated a joint approach which would include both a more effective use of public money, and the development of insurance schemes to cover care, above a basic minimum, in old age. He criticised the several 'deceptions' and urged the Government to build a new policy founded on an honest admission of what was affordable.


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Mr Cox said: "We cannot go on suggesting to the people of this country that we can sustain elderly and social care on the basis of taxation."

He continued: "This is a profoundly serious debate. As somebody with a 97-year-old grandmother, who lives near me, whom I am responsible for, who is in residential care, who has gone through the often bruising experience of losing a great many assets and who is now, I am afraid, afflicted by dementia, I must say that the problem is all too present and real to my family and to me.

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"Plainly, the situation that afflicts my grandmother as she descends into dementia afflicts tens of thousands of people throughout the country, and they look to this House not for party point-scoring... but for solutions."

"We are not making effective use of the many different allowances that are... designed and targeted to relieve the poverty of the aged, including fuel poverty. On top of that, we should... adopt an insurance system over and above a particular threshold."

"Twelve years ago, the former Prime Minister came into government promising that he would solve this problem. It is a bit late for the Government to produce a policy now, but I am glad that they have, because at least we can all begin to talk about this an adult and sensible way and to say to the public that it can no longer be done on the basis of public means and direct taxation.

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