County faces cri­sis over high de­men­tia rate

Twice na­tional av­er­age, says char­ity

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - An­drea O’Neil

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.

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