Statement from Henry Simmons, Chief Executive of Alzheimer Scotland, with regard to the latest dementia death statistics and report published by the National Records of Scotland:
"The data published today by the National Records of Scotland shows that Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias continue to be among the leading causes of death in Scotland. Dementia remains the leading cause of death for women in Scotland and the total number of deaths has increased over the last year. Alarmingly, the rate of deaths from dementia has more than doubled over the last 20 years and we know that this figure will only continue to increase as the number of people living with dementia in Scotland continues to rise.
"These figures represent the need to address dementia as the public health priority it is and to act now to tackle the ongoing challenges experienced by people with dementia across all areas of their lives. Alzheimer Scotland want to reduce the number of people affected by dementia so we need continued and increased investment in brain health and dementia research to reduce the number of people developing dementia in the future. We also need to ensure that those living with dementia receive the highest quality of care, from diagnosis to end of life, and in whatever setting they live. Alzheimer Scotland recognise the need for improved access to timely diagnosis and meaningful post diagnostic support, access to specialist nursing care for those with complex needs that arise in advanced illness, and the need to address the inequity experienced by people with dementia who are charged tens of thousands of pounds to be supported with what are essentially health care needs. We need the Scottish Government to act on delivering the aspirations outlined in the latest National Dementia Strategy to provide dementia services and resources that will help people with dementia to live well for longer. We also recognise the need for greater focus to be placed on health inequalities for women living with dementia and we will push to have dementia and brain health included as priorities in the next Women’s Health Plan.
"The work on achieving improved policy and practice is not a substitute for immediate action and Alzheimer Scotland will continue to deliver support to those affected by dementia to ensure that nobody faces dementia alone. Alzheimer Scotland’s 24 hour Freephone Dementia Helpline is available on 0808 808 3000."