NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding and Dementia
Dementia presents in different ways which often leads to a diagnosis of a specific type of dementia, although it is even possible to be diagnosed with a combination of different types of dementia and some people, whilst displaying symptoms of dementia, may never be formally diagnosed.
The four most common types of dementia are:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
This is the most prolific form of dementia and usually begins with memory loss and goes on to cause confusion and changes in personality. The disease is degenerative and symptoms will usually worsen over time, resulting in physical changes in the brain which result in damage to cells and the links between them.
- Vascular Dementia
This is the second most common form of dementia which results from a reduction of blood supply to the brain. This is why stroke and vascular dementia are so closely linked, though of course not all strokes result in dementia.
- Dementia with Lewy Bodies
As with most cases of dementia, sufferers of Dementia with Lewy Bodies will likely experience memory loss and confusion, but this type of dementia is usually characterised by hallucinations and sometimes tremors, similar to those associated with Parkinson’s Disease.
- Frontotemporal Dementia
The least common of the main types of dementia, Frontotemporal Dementia is characterised by changes in personality, memory and ability to recognise familiar things. Damage/death occurs to the cells in the frontal or temporal nerves of the brain, which control problem solving and speech, among other functions.
Does a diagnosis of dementia constitute a medical or health need? Should the NHS pay for the care of people with dementia?
At Ridley & Hall Solicitors, we are often asked why the NHS does not always provide funding for dementia care, on the basis that dementia is a recognised medical condition and therefore the sufferer must have a health need which, like all NHS care, should be provided for free.
Our care home fees expert and Partner at the firm, James Urquhart-Burton says, “whether or not you are eligible to have your care paid for by the NHS (called NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding) depends on whether your main or primary need is for healthcare. This is not determined by your diagnosed medical conditions, but by an assessment of your needs and the care that is required to meet them. Diagnosis is an indication that certain needs might be present, but dementia is a sliding scale and everyone’s needs are different.”
If you have a loved one who requires full time care due to dementia and would like a discussion with James to see whether they might be eligible, he will be able to advise you whether it is worthwhile making a claim for NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding. Call us now for free on 0800 8 60 62 65 for a free initial discussion with no obligation.