Challenges face dementia care in Argyll and Bute

A new report has highlighted key challenges for the support of people with dementia in Argyll and Bute and other rural parts of Scotland.

The report, ‘Specialist dementia support for families, carers and communities’, found that difficulties getting a diagnosis, problems accessing information and a lack of support for family carers were particularly acute in rural communities.

However, the report also highlighted a number of positives: community-based support had the most positive impact for family carers, with drop-in activities, peer support and access to home-based respite also improving quality of life.

The research also highlights innovative models of good practice used to overcome challenges identified, including models from some parts of the NHS Highland area.

Examples of such good practice include the introduction of dementia link workers in Argyll and Bute to support people after diagnosise - an initiative now being extended to the Highland Council area.

Cleland Sneddon, Argyll and Bute Council’s executive director of community services, said: “Argyll and Bute Council welcomes this report which highlights many of the challenges that families living with dementia face and we are committed to working towards improving support in the face of economic challenges.

“Our investment in working in partnership with our NHS colleagues, Alzheimer Scotland and other third sector organisations is evidence of this commitment; with our local community dementia teams being recognised as a model of excellence winning recognition at Scotland’s first National Dementia Awards for innovative partnership working.

“We will look to use the findings of the report to help shape further developments and improvements, especially with regards to supporting people in rural and remote areas and ensuring family carers access forms of respite that are critical to helping people live well within their community whilst improving the wellbeing of family carers.”

The report was funded by the Big Lottery and supported by NHS Highland, Argyll and Bute Council and Highland Council.