By Bill Heaney
Scottish Labour has demanded better support for people with dementia as the death rate rises.
A new NRS report has revealed that in 2022 the number of dementia deaths rose by 4 per cent compared to the previous year. The dementia death rate is now more than twice as high as it was in 2000.
The poorest communities have again been hit hardest, with people from the most deprived areas 1.3 times as likely to die of dementia compared to those in the least deprived areas.
West Dunbartonshire has some of the most deprived areas in Scotland within its local government boundaries.
64 per cent of these deaths were in care homes such as Crosslet House in Dumbarton, sparking fresh calls for greater support for care homes and social care.
Labour warned that the immense pressure on social care and the crisis in our NHS are taking a toll on dementia patients, and called on the Scottish Government to improve the support available.
Latest figures show the Scottish Government has failed to meet key targets on post diagnostic support for those with dementia.
Scottish Labour Health spokesperson Jackie Baillie, pictured right, said “This tragic rise in dementia deaths must be a call to action to improve the support available.
“Under the SNP social care is at breaking point and our NHS is in chaos – and dementia patients are paying the price.
“It is essential that care homes and social care services have the resources they need to deliver the highest possible standard of care for those with dementia.
“The SNP must act now to improve dementia care – from delivering the right post-diagnostic support to fixing the chaos in health and social care to investing in research.”
Alzheimer’s and other dementia deaths:
- There were 6,277 deaths caused by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in Scotland in 2022, an increase of 4% (231 deaths) on 2021.
- The rate of mortality caused by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias was 121 deaths per 100,000 people in 2022. This makes these conditions one of the highest causes of death in Scotland.
- Of the 6,277 deaths caused by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in 2022, 3,989 (64%) took place within care homes, 1,366 (22%) within hospitals, and 869 (14%) within a home/non-institution.
- There was a slight increase from 117 deaths per 100,000 in 2021. The current rate of 121 deaths per 100,000 people is more than twice as high as it was in 2000 (56 deaths per 100,000).
- Deaths caused by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias were 1.3 times as likely in the most deprived areas of Scotland compared to the least deprived areas.
- Source: Alzheimer’s and other dementia deaths | National Records of Scotland (nrscotland.gov.uk)
NHS Scotland performance against LDP standards
- People newly diagnosed with dementia will be offered a minimum of one year’s post-diagnostic support, coordinated by a named link worker.
- In Scotland, 42.9% of those people estimated to be newly diagnosed with dementia in 2019/20 were referred for post-diagnostic support.