Dementia services set to be reviewed as population ages

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A REVIEW of services for elderly people with dementia is set to take place in Barnsley to investigating competing pressures of an ageing population and shrinking budgets.

The investigation is expected to be ordered at a meeting of Barnsley Council’s Personal and Family Well Being Scrutiny Commission on Thursday.

A report to the committee warns: “Dementia is likely to be a major issue in the future. The projections the council has about likely the numbers of people in the borough aged over 65 with dementia suggests a rise from 2,635 at present to 4,355 in 2030, an increase of approximately 65 per cent.

“This increase reflects the fact that the number of older in people in the borough as a whole over 65 will also increase markedly. At present there are 39,900 people in Barnsley who are over 65, and this number will grow substantially.”

Barnsley Council said that at present, there are 2,221 people being dealt with by NHS Barnsley’s Memory Services - including 443 in care homes - and 1,998 who have been diagnosed with dementia.

The report adds: “Given the move away from ‘institutionalised’ care to supporting people in their own homes, the provision of day care opportunities is important.

“Day care allows people who are sometimes rather isolated to take part in group activities and meet others.

“The budget situation the council and partners face in the near future makes it important that the support available is directed at the right people and in the right places.”

The NHS, Alzheimer’s Society – Barnsley Branch and Barnsley Independent Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support are set to be involved in the review of services.