County faces crisis over high dementia rate
Twice national average, says charity
It is estimated there are nearly 5,600 people living with dementia in South Lanarkshire, more than double the UK and Scottish averages.
And the number of cases is expected to double by 2030, according to Alzheimer Scotland.
The condition is now seen as one of the biggest health and social care challenges facing the country, with an individual being diagnosed every 30 minutes.
The 5,577 people thought to be diagnosed with dementia in South Lanarkshire is the equivalent of 1.75 per cent of the population.
And that puts the region at more than double the Scotland and UKwide averages of 0.82 and 0.76 per cent respectively.
The figures, which are based on prevalence rates rather than actual diagnosis, also show that for every man diagnosed there are three women living with dementia.
In South Lanarkshire the figures claim there are 3715 women and 1862 men who have the condition.
The number of cases is 1.4 per cent higher than in North Lanarkshire, where there are said to be 4,883 diagnosed cases, taking the total number of people with dementia in Lanarkshire to nearly 10,500.
In Scotland less than one per cent of the population of people under 65 have early-onset dementia.
By 2020 it is estimated there will be more than one million people with the illness in the UK.
Adam Daly, NHS Lanarkshire’s clinical director of old age psychiatry, said: “We are committed to providing the best possible care and support for people living with dementia.
“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 is one of the biggest fears facing people growing old, ahead of developing a physical disability.
A spokeswoman for Alzheimer Scotland said: “Dementia is the biggest health and social care challenge faced by society today.
“We need much more research into the causes of dementia, treatments and supports that allow people to live well with dementia as well as the prevention and cure of dementia.
“We believe that nobody should face dementia alone and continue to work with supporters and partners to increase awareness of the condition and are committed to focus resources and to plan the right services and supports for people living with dementia, their carers and their families across communities.“
For more information about dementia call Alzheimer Scotland on 0808 808 3000 or visit www.alzscot. org.