There are approximately 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland.

The experience of the illness is subjective and unique to each individual. Effectively tackling the symptoms of dementia requires a coordinated range of health and social care interventions.

Alzheimer Scotland’s Five Pillars Model of Post Diagnostic Support shows the five key elements which are essential to supporting a person after their diagnosis.


New 5 Pillar ModelWhat each pillar aims to do.

Supporting Community Connections - Support to maintain and develop social networks.

Peer Support - From other people with dementia, their families and carers to help come to terms with ill and maintain wellbeing and resilience.

Planning for Future Care - Support, when they are ready, to plan the shape of their future care from their own perspective together with those around them, developing a personal plan with their choices, hopes and aspirations which can guide professionals.

Understanding the Illness and Managing the Symptoms - Support to come to terms with dementia and learn about self-management of the condition.

Planning for Future Decision Making - Support to set up powers of attorney and other legal issues.

Why Post Diagnostic Support matters.

There is clear evidence that high quality post diagnostic support, provided over an extended period, is essential in order to equip people living with dementia, their families and carers with the tools, connections, resources and plans they need to live as well as possible with dementia and prepare for the future.

By the end of the year it is expected that some individuals might require ongoing professional support; however the purpose of the post diagnostic support is to enable the individual and their family to develop a robust personal plan that utilises all their own natural supports, that maintains newly developed peer support mechanisms alongside existing and new community connections and that will support each person to live well and independently with dementia for as long as possible.

It is imperative that post diagnostic support is personalised and flexible, and delivered proactively and sensitively over the course of a year by a skilled and well-trained person, who can develop a supportive relationship with the individual and their partner and family. There is no preferred systematic order in delivering this support; each person will need a unique approach and professionals will need to identify when that person and their family are ready to engage in each area.

The Scottish Government PDS guarantee

From 1 April 2013, every person with a new diagnosis of dementia in Scotland has been entitled to a a minimum of one year of PDS a named person who has the flexibility to work alongside the person, their partner and family and ensure that over that 12 month period each person is given help and support to work through the five pillars.

This minimum of one year of Post-Diagnostic Support is guaranteed through a Scottish Government HEAT target.

Download the 5 Pillars Model of Post Diagnostic Support

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