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Business planning

Business costs to rise as many more people suffer dementia

Businesses in England will face costs of nearly £3bn a year by 2030 as tens of thousands of workers leave to care for the growing number of people with dementia over the next 15 years.

Dementia already costs English businesses £1.6bn a year, says the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), a provider of economic analysis and forecasting services.

A new CEBR report, released by Public Health England (PHE) and the Alzheimer’s Society, says the value of skills and experience lost from the workforce will rise from £628m to £1.16bn by 2030. By then, the number of sufferers is likely to have almost doubled to around 1.1 million.

PHE and the Alzheimer’s Society want employers to adapt their practices. “If companies increase 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 £415m,” they say.

Businesses are starting to recognise the issue. More than 20 major companies have signed up to the Dementia Friends scheme, jointly launched by PHE and the Alzheimer’s Society, which encourages people to help those with dementia in their daily lives. More than 100,000 employees are now trained as dementia friends.

In addition, the report warns that businesses that are not dementia-friendly will lose out as dementia sufferers take their custom elsewhere. The value of the “dementia pound” is set to double to £22.7bn by 2030, it says.

 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20066164

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