Dealing with dementia in East Dunbartonshire

With dementia dominating the headlines East Dunbartonshire Council and its partners in East Dunbartonshire Dementia Network have earned praise for the work they are doing in the community with people diagnosed with the condition.

Dementia has been described as the biggest health and care problem of a generation and the number of people diagnosed with the condition in East Dunbartonshire is rising, which has implications for many public services and policies, such as housing, leisure, education.

Over 1950 people in the area have dementia - rising from 1878 in 2012 - and of these 1890 are aged over 65. Approximately 300 new cases are anticipated between April 2013 and March 2014.

Dementia is recognised as a long term condition which is likely to increase in line with life expectancy and, as our population ages, more people will come into contact with someone with dementia, either through family, friends, neighbours, people in their community and through the media.

And, as leading nations met at the first G8 Dementia Summit in London this week, East Dunbartonshire Council was praised in the Scottish Parliament for the work it is doing for people with dementia.

Councillor Michael O’Donnell, convener of the social work committee, said: “People with dementia, their families and carers need support, information and advice to come to terms with a diagnosis of dementia. It is possible to live well with the condition but planning is required around symptom management and planning for the changes that dementia brings.

“In East Dunbartonshire we have worked very hard to ensure that the range of health, social work, housing, third sector and voluntary agencies work together to meet the expectations of people with dementia and their families.

“Through our Change Fund we have developed a range of community access points for the public to seek advice, information and support at any stage of the condition.

“Everyone with a new diagnosis of dementia from April 2013 has a named Link Worker to support them through the first year of their diagnosis in line with the National Post Diagnostic Support Guarantee.”