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Prince Charles should speak up for carers

20th March 2009

Writing in The Telegraph, Andrew Pierce says while scientific research into Alzheimer's remains important, it is the careers who now need support.

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The Prince of Wales, in a written statement to a scientific conference in London, recently pressed the case for more research in Alzheimer’s.

While much work is being carried out in this area, "precious little" is being done to ease the plight of those who care for dementia sufferers and see someone they love "disappear into a dark, confused world."

A report emerged at around the time Prince Charles spoke out saying a third of care homes specialising in dementia do not adequately train staff.

It’s a difficult job. It could take me all afternoon to feed my father, who was cared for at home by my mother. Even the best care homes do not have that luxury.

Carers, like my mother, save the NHS some £6 billion a year.

That's why I hope the Prince will use his contacts to argue that carers should be given the additional support they need, but often can't afford.

I would urge the Prince to "bombard ministers" – including health secretary Alan Johnson – in support of the exhausted army of careers.

Critics have accused the Prince of meddling in such areas before, while he calls it "convening power."

It is time to do that, with the Prince – a man who can make things happen – using his immense influence to bring people together who can change things for the careers who look after hundreds of thousands of people with dementia.

 

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