One of Kent's leading home care providers, Bluebird Care Gravesham and Dartford, has welcomed the appointment of a Kent MP to the post of Minister for Loneliness.
Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham and Aylesford, has been appointed to head a government-wide group with responsibility for policies connected to loneliness and social isolation, implementing one of the main recommendations of a report into the subject by the Jo Cox Commission.
Social isolation can often be a challenge for those living with dementia in particular because people with dementia tend to be lonelier than the population as a whole. A recent survey by the Alzheimer’s Society found that 38% of people with dementia felt lonely.
Bluebird Care supports hundreds of people across Kent, many living with dementia. The specialist support that they provide helps make a big difference to not just those living with the condition but family members as well.
Clare Mortlock, Operations Manager at Bluebird Care Gravesham and Dartford, said: "We welcome Ms Crouch's appointment as 'Minister for Loneliness'. It is very encouraging to see that the Government is taking the issue of loneliness and social isolation seriously, and we hope that Ms Crouch will be given the necessary resources to equip our communities to deal with dementia effectively.
"Data suggests that people who have strong social support and are socially active are less likely to have dementia symptoms, so tackling loneliness among people living with dementia is essential, particularly as the number of people with dementia in the UK is forecast to increase to over one million by 2025 and two million by 2051."
Care delivered in the community, in or close to people’s homes, is generally accepted by health and social care experts to be better for the person with dementia, and has the potential to provide savings to the health service.
Nathan Brown, Community Liaison Manager at Bluebird Care Gravesham and Dartford, continued: "Bluebird Care's services put us in a unique position to help reduce loneliness; our Care Assistants can sometimes be the only human contact our customers have each day and they can play an important role in tackling loneliness by helping those living with dementia to stay connected to their community.
"We are looking forward positive changes that Ms Crouch will bring in through her new role and are delighted that the Government has taken the step to have a specific focus on this area."