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 carers, urging them to make the disease “the priority it needs to be”.

The actress and Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador has shared a powerful video in which she called on politicians to help the charity cure the broken social care system.

In the video (below), released following the second series 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 with dementia.

Addressing MPs in the video she said: “You worked hard, you have an important job, you got elected. You have the power to make real change.

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

“Instead of your morning coffee briefing, you’re making sure your partner doesn’t choke on their breakfast.

“You don’t need a coffee – even though you only got three hours sleep – because you’re running on adrenaline and dread.

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

Concluding the video, she says: “Make dementia the priority it needs to be.

“Give people living with dementia, and their loved ones caring for them, the diagnosis and then support they need.

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

“You need to cure the care system.”

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

She has been a vocal advocate for charities supporting the families of carers ever since.

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

“She paints a stark picture of the reality of dementia care and support for thousands up and down the country – she has been through it with her grandmother and she sees it up close with the members of her wonderful choir.

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

“But first we need to improve the stagnant dementia diagnosis rates that are at a five-year low – without that vital diagnosis, families cannot access the care and support they desperately need.

“Government must deliver on its promises.”

Alzheimer’s Society is calling on the Government to honour its commitments to ​the National Dementia Mission, including doubling dementia research funding and establishing a dementia research taskforce.

It is also calling for a massive reform of the social care system, putting people in control of their care and reducing the amount they have to pay for it as well as a ten-year plan for dementia, backed by proper funding and powerful partners.

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