Alzheimer Scotland is bringing its campaign for free healthcare for people with advanced dementia to Fife with a public screening of a harrowing documentary.
The film, titled Dementia: the true cost, will be shown at Alzheimer Scotland’s Dementia Resource Centre in Kirkcaldy on October 23 at 11am and 2pm.
The events are part of the charity’s campaign to tackle the inequalities suffered by people with advanced dementia who, unlike those with progressive and life limiting illnesses, do not have access to free health care.
Henry Simmons, chief executive of Alzheimer Scotland, said: “This short documentary demonstrates the harrowing inequality that people with advanced dementia and their carers face.
“It is part of an ongoing campaign to secure cross-party political support in order to bring an end to this injustice.
“This issue has been hidden within our health and social care system because there is no proper definition of advanced dementia or meaningful recognition of individual changing needs.”
He said the charity’s position was that the health care needs of people with the condition should be free at the point of delivery.
“They are not,” he added.
“This means that people with advanced dementia continue to pay for all their care.
“This is both unfair and unequal and this film highlights how we need to bring this to an end.”
Presenting the film at the Whytescauseway centre will be author and retired journalist Mike Edwards, whose mum was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2015.
He has spoken candidly about his own experience of becoming a full-time carer and regularly meets families and campaigners for dementia care.
“I have reported on the work of Alzheimer Scotland over the years so when my mum was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2015, it really hit home,” said Mr Edwards.
“This documentary was an important one to produce and I hope that we have done a good job of getting to the heart of the story.
“I’m fortunate that I can look after my mum every day at home, but a lot of people aren’t in the same position and are struggling with the cost of care. I really wanted to help tell their stories in this short documentary.”