Table of contents

Unmet needs and service gaps

Adults :: Dementia :: Unmet needs and service gaps

  1. Between 2012 and 2037, the number of older people living in Medway with Dementia is expected to increase from approximately 2,500 to 5,600. This is driven by projected changes in the age structure of the population. This will represent a huge challenge as current services will have to nearly double in capacity if in their present form or different approaches will need to be found. 45% of these will be likely to have moderate to severe dementia.

  2. Development of a clearly described integrated care pathway for dementia would assist both people living with the condition and professionals supporting people to access services without increasing the stresses and anxieties already likely to be present in people's lives.

  3. Current under-reporting in primary care (which is an issue nationally) and variation in primary care in quality of dementia care needs to be addressed to improve early diagnosis and intervention.

  4. Improving professional understanding and appropriate management of dementia is an ongoing need. This is the case for all health and social care professionals, including doctors, care staff and acute hospital staff.

  5. There is still stigma associated with dementia which means that people may be reluctant to seek help for themselves or their loved ones. Further campaigns (e.g. Dementia Friends) to change public perception and reinforce the importance of early diagnosis need to be supported locally.

  6. 24/7 practical support to carers needs to be further developed to ensure that people living with dementia are supported to remain in their own homes for as long as possible and for any admissions to acute settings can be as short as possible.

  7. Local stakeholder events have indicated that some support services are working well but there is a need for more support to carers, better information, earlier diagnosis but with additional support, clear pathways to services and better integration and coverage of what is available to ensure equality of opportunity across Medway. The absence of services for people with a learning disability who also develop a dementia illness was highlighted as a significant issue.