Every person with dementia is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. In the Western Isles, by adopting a human rights based approach, we will ensure that the care and support we offer is responsive to individual need. This means that we must change the way that our services and communities think and act on dementia and ensure that the views and experiences of people with dementia, their families and carers, underpin our own policy development.
While no treatments are currently available to cure or even alter the progressive course of dementia, there is much that can be offered to support and improve the lives of people with dementia, their care-givers and families. The principal goals for dementia care are:
- Early diagnosis;
- Optimising physical health, cognition, activity and well-being;
- Detecting and treating behavioural and psychological symptoms;
- Avoiding inappropriate admissions to hospital;
- Providing information and long-term support to caregivers.
The prospect of developing dementia is a concern for many people, especially as they age. The Western Isles has the highest prevalence of diagnosed dementia in Scotland and we recognise that the majority of people with dementia wish to be supported and cared for in familiar, homely environments in their own community.
Given the profile of our ageing population, increasing levels of frailty, rising demand for services and the challenging financial climate, there is a need for continuing improvements in order to ensure service efficiency and improved outcomes for the people we serve. In order to do this, Western Isles Health and Social Care Partnership has embraced a local strategy that is capable of delivering targeted and achievable improvements, looking at the actions we can take to support people at different stages, from risk reduction through diagnosis, treatment, assistance to living well with dementia and provision for end of life care.