Northumberland facing huge dementia challenge

The number of people with dementia in Northumberland will increase by more than half in the next 10 years, according to new figures.

Huge rise looming in dementia numbers
Huge rise looming in dementia numbers

The Alzheimer's Society say the predicted 57% rise means urgent reforms are needed in social care to provide better support.

NHS Digital figures show that 3,029 older people in the area have a dementia diagnosis, but the number living with the condition is estimated to be around 4,986.

Alzheimer's Society research predicts that the number will swell to 7,800 by 2030.

The charity estimates the total cost of caring for people with dementia in Northumberland to be of around £215m - increasing to £360m by 2030.

The figures have been released to mark Marking Dementia Action Week and Kate Lee, chief executive officer at the Alzheimer's Society, said: “Decades of chronic under-funding have led to a care system that’s difficult to access, costly and inadequate.

“This cannot be the kind of society that we want to grow old in."

She added: "We are calling on the Government to honour their promise to rebuild the broken social care system with a concrete budgeted plan. Dementia isn’t curable yet, but the care system is."

A Department for Health and Social Care spokesman said: "We are committed to significantly increasing research funding to improve detection and care for people living with dementia and have already spent £344m on research in the past five years.

“We have pledged to improve adult social care and are committed to bringing forward a long-term plan to reform the social care system later this year.”