Just ten per cent of Scottish care homes offer specialist dementia support

Just ten per cent of Scottish care homes offer specialist dementia support

As many as nine in ten patients in Scottish care homes have dementia, but barely ten per cent of these facilities provide specialist support for the condition.

Figures from the country's Care Inspectorate reveal just 106 of 1,284 care homes for adults offer services specifically designed for dementia patients.

Last year, research produced for the Scottish government found that dementia cares had been underreported by as much as 32 per cent, meaning that potential 90 per cent of people in care had some form the illness.

Professor June Andrews, director of the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling, told the Scottish Herald that all care facilities in the country should cater for dementia.

"You don't get into most care homes unless you have dementia or are very frail, so a care home these days is a dementia hospice, therefore every care home should be designed to compensate for the needs of people with dementia," she said.

"They are likely to be the majority, and staff should be able to cope with disturbing behaviour and other special needs of people with dementia."

However, Ranald Mair, director of Scottish Care, said that while the majority of care homes in big cities such as Edinburgh and Glasgow may need specialist services for dementia patients, it isn't necessarily the case in smaller regions.

Indeed, he believes that forcing moderate care homes to provide specialist care would be cost prohibitive and many wouldn't be able to access adequate levels of funding.

According to the charity Alzheimer Scotland, there were 85,807 people living with some form dementia in the country during 2013, with 3,201 being aged under 65.

Figures published by NHS Scotland also showed that 183,000 prescriptions for dementia medications were handed out during 2012-13, more than 30,000 higher than in the previous year and 50,000 more than in 2010-11.

Find out about dementia care and support services at Barchester care homes.