Experts are calling for a long-term recruitment plan to support people with dementia after a record number of people were diagnosed with the disease last month.
The announcement by the NHS showed that nearly 454,000 people aged 65 and over have been given a formal diagnosis of dementia in England.
That’s an increase of 7% in the last three years and an overall record of the diagnosis.
The rise in cases of the degenerative condition is said to be the result of an ageing population and a drive to detect the disease earlier, an NHS spokesperson said.
Speaking on the latest NHS dementia figures, Prestige Nursing + Care Admiral Nurse Sue Jones told Home Care Insight: “With Britain’s aging population, the number of people requiring care is set to grow, with a recent estimate suggesting that a third of the population will care for someone with dementia at some point. The biggest challenge for the healthcare industry, then, will be to keep on delivering safe, effective treatment at a consistent level.
“It is vital we have is a long-term recruitment plan for doctors and nurses to support the growing number of people living with dementia and their families. Increasing the number of skilled healthcare professionals will ensure we can provide excellent care from diagnosis through to end of life.
“However, with the political uncertainty engulfing Britain at the moment and for what seems like the next six months at least, the healthcare sector will continue to struggle without clarification from the government about how these needs will be met.”
Dr Hilda Hayo, CEO and chief admiral nurse at Dementia UK said the figures highlight a great awareness amongst families around dementia, but warned that they don’t hide the fact that the health and social care system is “not supporting families with dementia enough”.
“With more families getting diagnosed, more are able to access the care and support they desperately need, which is a promising development,” she said.
‘However, we need a coordinated approach, where health and social care professionals have the right knowledge to support families at varying stages of dementia. Specialist dementia Admiral Nurses are ideally placed to provide this.”