THE largest survey of its kind by a national military charity will lead to ‘life-changing’ support being offered to Armed Forces personnel caring for loved ones with dementia.
The survey conducted by the RAF Association – the charity that supports the RAF family’s wellbeing – revealed the unique circumstances of military personnel battling to provide personal care for relatives from afar.
The research shows there are increased pressures on carers serving in the military due to often being deployed outside of their home area, sometimes at short notice and overseas.
Alzheimer’s Society figures show more than 112,000 people across all employment sectors have had to give up their job in the past year, with many retiring early because of their caring commitments.
Rory O’Connor, the RAF Association’s Director of Welfare and Policy, said the Association was now working with Alzheimer’s Society to develop solutions to help prevent a workplace crisis in the Armed Forces.
Flight Lieutenant Rosie Brooks, whose mother was diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s Disease early this year, said the strain of trying to care for her mother, who lives in Worcester, while serving in the RAF in Whitehall soon began to take its toll on her.
She said: “My whole life was flipped upside down overnight. I found the social care system difficult to navigate, and I struggled to look after my mum.
“While the RAF has helped a great deal by enabling me to work flexibly, it’s still frustrating to only be able to give my mum a couple of days per week.”
National Dementia Helpline: Tel. 0300 2221122