Dementia rate is double UK average
There are almost 5000 people living with dementia in North Lanarkshire – nearly double the UK and Scottish averages.
The condition is one of the biggest health and social care challenges facing the country, with an individual being diagnosed every 30 minutes.
Statistics released by charity Alzheimer Scotland show that 4883 people have been diagnosed with dementia in North Lanarkshire, with the figures rising to 5600 people in South Lanarkshire, taking the total number of people with dementia in Lanarkshire to nearly 10,500.
The Scotland and UK-wide average is 0.82 and 0.76 per cent respectively and in Scotland less than one per cent of the population of people under 65 have early onset dementia.
The condition affects over 93,000 people in Scotland and by 2020 it is estimated there will be more than one million people with the illness in the UK.
Dr Adam Daly, NHS Lanarkshire’s clinical director of old age psychiatry, said: “All three of our acute hospitals have signed up to John’s Campaign which supports people with dementia by ensuring they are surrounded by familiar faces around the clock by letting their carers stay with them on the ward.
“Each of our acute hospitals has also trained dozens of nurses as dementia champions who can provide specialist support.
“An early diagnosis will help people to receive treatment and support when it is likely to have the greatest benefit.”
New research from Alzheimer Scotland revealed that 70 per cent of people with dementia lose friends after their diagnosis.
And Age Scotland found that getting dementia was one of the biggest fears facing people growing old, ahead of developing a physical disability.
Anne McWhinnie, of Alzheimer Scotland, said:“Our survey has revealed some heartbreaking findings, but has also highlighted some key issues which we as a society must urgently address.”