Britain is leading the pack in many ways in their response to dementia and the issues of caregiving. They are starting to legislate pay for family caregivers, and are including their living and healthcare costs into the amount of money they will give someone with dementia to arrange for care. In other words, family caregivers are seen as one of the ‘benefits’ that the government must provide for the elderly and infirm – a win-win scenario for everyone. Britain’s Prime Minister has also issued a challenge on dementia, which includes an ambition to create communities that are working to help people live well with dementia.
I think this is such a great idea, and I was lucky enough to sort of see it in action. We took an overnight trip outside of London to a town in the Cotswolds part of Britain called Tetbury, and to my surprise, I saw on the windows of several businesses, stickers that indicated this was part of one of the dementia friendly communities! I did a little more research and came across this great article, linked here, that goes into a little more detail about Tetbury’s actions and goal. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be a concept that we in the US are embracing yet, but I think it’s a good one.