Nicola Sturgeon to launch Second Year report on Scotland’s National Dementia Strategy at Alzheimer Scotland’s national conference
Posted 18 June, 2012
Later today (Monday 18 June) at the Thistle Hotel in Glasgow, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will officially launch the Second Year report on the progress of Scotland’s National Dementia Strategy at Alzheimer Scotland’s national conference: ‘Creativity and dementia – policy and practice’. She will deliver the keynote address at 11.35am. The conference will focus on a number of issues raised in this report, including the guarantee of one year’s post-diagnostic support, the implementation of the national dementia care standards and improvements to dementia services in the NHS and social care.
Dementia and older people’s services are personal priorities for me and I am very pleased to see the progress made over the last two years in implementing the national dementia strategy and supporting improvement in local services.
Our aim is to provide world-class dementia services – on all occasions and in all care settings. Scotland performs very strongly in the early identification and diagnosis of dementia relative to other parts of the UK and our new national commitment from 2013 of a guaranteed minimum of a year’s post-diagnostic support by a named link worker will also build on these achievements and support improvements across the system of care.
Our ageing population means that the number of Scots with dementia will double over the next 25 years. The work we are doing now, along with the integration of health and social care, will be key to better meeting the care needs of all older people now and in the future.
Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister
We are very pleased with the policy progress and the new national commitments that have been made in the two key priority areas of the strategy: Acute General Health Care and Post Diagnostic Support. The reduction in the prescribing of antipsychotic drugs is also to be welcomed. We must maintain as much urgency as possible in delivering improvements and better quality support for people in our hospital environments and in the early stage of the illness.
We would like dementia to become a priority for every health board, local authority and community partnership and ensure that its priority status is maintained as we move towards an integrated health and social care system. People in the middle and advanced stages of dementia (and their families) need high quality support from staff who understand dementia and are trained in dementia care. It is vital that existing dementia-specific services are protected and built upon. We would also ask health and social services commissioners to consider including creative activities within dementia care plans, to reflect the physical, emotional and social stimulation that arts participation can provide.
Henry Simmons, Chief Executive of Alzheimer Scotland
In addition, the conference will highlight the benefits of arts participation for people with dementia, through presentations and practical workshops. There is a growing evidence base which demonstrates that involving and supporting people with dementia in creative activity has significant benefits in terms of physical and emotional wellbeing, rebuilding self-esteem and maintaining a sense of identity. The conference will also feature the premiere performance of the Memory Spinners: a piece is sung by 20 people with dementia and their carers. The group has been working with artists and creatives from Scottish Opera since January 2012, on a weekly programme of skill-building workshops in music, movement and design.
Alzheimer Scotland’s national conference is just one of over 70 different arts, information and awareness-raising events across Scotland during Dementia Awareness Week (18-24 June 2012), which this year is on the theme of Creative Minds. To find out more, visit www.alzscot.org/DAW2012.