Theresa May’s dementia tax for social care is a disgrace

Theresa May announced plans in the Conservative manifesto to change social care funding.

Theresa May’s dementia tax deserves the backlash it has received. It is a vindictive attempt to punish a select, unfortunate few for the crisis in social care exacerbated by the Conservative party since it took power in 2010. The policy’s many defenders argue that it is wrong for less well off working people to subsidise the care of wealthy older Britons.

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Never mind dry January, we should probably all give up alcohol

Beers
Minimum pricing for alcohol has been rejected by the government.

The new inconvenient truth is that we should probably all give up alcohol – for good. Most of us will have a friend attempting dry January, swerving the demon drink for a month for varying reasons: to live more healthily, assuage festive guilt, avoid hangovers, save money or prove their willpower. Looking at the array of benefits, it makes perfect sense to stop drinking, doesn’t it?

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Was 2016 the worst year ever? Not for most people

The past year has inspired feelings of sadness, hopelessness and a lot of soul-searching.
The past year has inspired feelings of sadness, hopelessness and a lot of soul-searching.

Judging from social media, everyone has had a terrible 2016. The year and the collective suffering it has apparently inflicted upon us is fast becoming a cliche. We have all been through the mill equally, the narrative goes, hit by the myriad misfortunes of Brexit, Donald Trump and beloved celebrities dying.

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My mum’s dementia respite care costs the same as a flat in Mayfair

A carer helps a older woman with Alzheimer's disease. Care home places are in high demand and extremely expensive.
A carer helps an older woman with Alzheimer’s disease. Places at homes are in high demand.

My family was recently quoted £2,000 for a week of respite care for my mum, who has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Does that sound expensive to you? Here are some things that also cost £2,000. A week’s rent on a two-bedroom apartment in Mayfair, London. A Tag Heuer watch of the type worn by Formula One drivers. Seven days at an all-inclusive luxury resort in Mexico.

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We all get lonely sometimes – why does it feel so shameful?

Nobody wants to talk about feeling lonely, because it is often associated with shame and failure.
Nobody wants to talk about feeling lonely, because it is often associated with shame and failure.

I sometimes feel lonely. There, I’ve said it. But most younger people wouldn’t. According to a report by the Mental Health Foundation, 42% of those aged under 34 would be embarrassed to admit to feeling lonely. This is despite the fact that one in 10 people in the UK do not have a close friend, a study by the charity Relate found.

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I care for someone with Alzheimer’s, but who cares for people like me?

Caring for someone with dementia is hugely demanding, even for trained professionals.
Caring for someone with dementia is hugely demanding, even for trained professionals.

I am a carer. I help look after my mum, who has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. It is a difficult, demanding and often depressing job, and I only do it part time, filling in the gaps to ensure that my mum receives 24-hour care. Even this limited but significant share of my family’s responsibility has had a profound impact on my life.

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