Fall in number of older people in residential care

    The number of older people in residential care has dropped
    according to the latest statistical report of the Scottish
    executive.

    Since 1990, the number of older people in residential care has
    steadily decreased and last year, compared with 1999, the number
    fell again by 3.2 per cent.

    A similar trend has emerged for nursing homes, but is less
    marked with a decrease of only 1.4 per cent on the previous year
    while those in long term geriatric beds has more than halved
    between 1990 and 2000.

    By contrast, the number of special needs housing dwellings has
    more than doubled in the last decade, and increased by 1.5 per cent
    between 1999 and 2000.

    Health minister Susan Deacon argued that the reduction in
    residential care occupancy was a positive sign of more people
    opting to be cared for in their own homes. She said: “It reflects
    the preference by the vast majority of older people who want to
    maintain their independence and remain close to their
    families.”

    But the statistics were raising some concerns among campaigning
    groups. Jess Barrow, housing and policy manager at Age Concern
    Scotland, said: “Not only is the number of people in residential
    homes declining, but the number of people receiving home care has
    also declined we suspect because of funding restrictions and
    increasing reliance on private provision.”

    The report found that 291,500 people, 6 per cent of
    Scotland’s population, require regular help or care from a
    carer.

    Scottish Community Care Statistics 2000 at www.scotland.gov.uk/stats/bulletins/00104-00.asp

     

     

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