Vicky McClure urges MPs to step into the shoes of dementia carers

Line of Duty star Vicky McClure has asked MPs to put themselves in the shoes of dementia caregivers and urged them to make the disease “the priority it needs to be”.

The actress and Alzheimer’s Society ambassador shared a powerful video urging politicians to help the charity fix the broken welfare system.

In the video, released after the second season of her BBC show Our Dementia Choir, McClure describes the exhausting emotional, financial and physical struggles faced by thousands of families seeking support for loved ones living with dementia.

Addressing MPs in the video, she said: “You’ve worked hard, you have an important job, you’ve been elected. You have the power to bring about real change.

“Now imagine waking up tomorrow and having to give it all up… to become a dementia caregiver for a loved one. Your days now revolve around an illness, not your career.

“Instead of your morning coffee meeting, make sure your partner isn’t choking on their breakfast.

“You don’t need coffee – even though you’ve only slept three hours – because you’re running on adrenaline and fear.

“Instead of being interviewed by journalists, you’re being interviewed by a social worker trying to get £69.70 a week, that’s your salary now.”

At the end of the video, she says, “Make dementia the priority it needs to be.

“Give people with dementia and their loved ones who care for them the diagnosis and then the support they need.

“Give them what they need to have a better life, from things like music therapy, support groups and carer breaks.

“You have to heal the care system.”

McClure, 39, formed the Nottingham-based music group Our Dementia Choir in 2019 after her late grandmother Iris’ Alzheimer’s diagnosis taught her the healing power of music.

Since then, she has been a vehement advocate for charities that support caregivers’ families.

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The actress and Alzheimer’s Society ambassador has urged politicians to give the disease “the priority it needs to be” (Tim Goode/PA).

Mark MacDonald, Associate Director of Advocacy and System Change at the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Vicky’s heartfelt video is a call for government to make dementia a priority.

“She paints a stark picture of the reality of dementia care and support for thousands across the country – she’s been through it with her grandmother and she’s seeing it first hand with the members of her wonderful choir.

“We need to heal our broken care system that is failing many families living with the reality of dementia.

“But first we must improve stagnant rates of dementia diagnosis, which are at a five-year low – without this vital diagnosis, families are unable to access the care and support they desperately need.

“The government must keep its promises.”

The Alzheimer’s Society is calling on the government to honor its commitments to the National Dementia Mission, including doubling funding for dementia research and establishing a dementia research task force.

She also calls for a massive reform of the social care system that puts people in control of their care and reduces the costs they pay for it, and a ten-year plan for dementia backed by adequate funding and strong partners.

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/vicky-mcclure-urges-mps-to-step-into-the-shoes-of-dementia-carers-42081030.html Vicky McClure urges MPs to step into the shoes of dementia carers

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