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Dementia patients face Christmas in hospital

Dementia patients wait up to 10 times longer than others to be discharged, says Alzheimer's Society

MORE than 1,400 people with dementia will be stranded in hospital on Christmas Day due to the crisis in social care, a charity warns today.

Dementia patients wait up to 10 times longer to be discharged than those without the condition, an investigation by the Alzheimer’s Society has found.

A £2b billion shortfall in social care funding is “turning wards into waiting rooms,” said the report, which is based on analysis of hospital audits.

People with the condition stayed a combined 500,000 days extra in hospital despite being well enough to leave.

Hospitals can be distressing and confusing environments for those with dementia and staying longer than necessary may leave them too frail to be discharged.

Karen Moore, whose father had dementia, said: “Mum died of cancer while Dad was stuck in hospital.

“Because his needs fluctuated so much, it was impossible to get him sorted with social care, so he was stuck in hospital for six months.

“Dad got infection after infection. Eventually, he died on the ward.”

The charity warned that one million people are forecast to have dementia by 2021.

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