By 2030, dementia caring obligations will cost companies in England more than £3 billion, warns a new report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, commissioned by Public Health England and the Alzheimer’s Society.
This is because the number of people with the condition is expected to surge to 1.09 million, which will have a huge implications for businesses with the growing number of workers reducing hours, changing work patterns or even quitting, due to the demands of caring.
Findings also show that the number of people who will have left employment to care for people with dementia is set to rise from 50,000 in 2014, to 83,100 in 2030.
But if companies increased their employment rate of dementia carers by just 2% over the years to 2030, for example by offering more flexible terms of employment, the retention of these skilled and experienced staff would deliver a saving of £415 million, the report argues.
With a growing need for those over the age of 65 to stay in employment, by 2030, the cost of skills and experience lost from the workforce due to dementia will rise from £628 million to £1.16 billion, it warns.
Businesses have started to recognise this issue, with one in 12 companies (8%) having made attempts to accommodate the needs of a member of staff with dementia, and more than half (52.1%) considering taking such action in the future, and it is encouraging that more than 100,000 employees across the country have already become Dementia Friends, noted PHE chief executive Duncan Selbie
But still, “thousands of people affected by dementia are forced to give up work and are denied a lifeline because of the failure of organisations to change the way they do business,” says Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society. “With dementia affecting millions of people, businesses who ignore the dementia pound do so at their own peril,” he warned.