Scotland must develop a strategy to tackle an “epidemic” of dementia, with case numbers projected to rise by 75% over the next 25 years and current services inadequate, a report by charity Alzheimer’s Scotland warned yesterday.
It predicted that the cost of dementia would rise from between £1.5bn and £1.7bn this year to between £2.6bn and £2.9bn in 2031 (at today’s prices), when it estimated there would be up 114,000 people in Scotland with the condition, compared to between 58,000 and 65,000 today.
But Alzheimer’s Scotland found that existing services were inadequate, with just 11% of people with dementia living in the community receiving home care, against a target of 28%, and 27% of dementia carers having a week’s break a year.
The report called for dementia to be made a national priority. It said the strategy should minimise the numbers with dementia, for instance through promoting healthy eating and exercise, increase investment in line with population growth and fund specialist services to keep people in their homes, improve training and provide self-management courses for people with the condition.