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

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

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

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



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