Public Health Minister Shona Robison outlines new care for elderly strategy

Minister outlines new care for elderly strategy

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    Public Health Minister Shona Robison believes care homes will become more specialist, perhaps focusing only on dementia or end-of-life care

Published on 18 Oct 2009

Older people will use care homes only for specialist services and respite and will instead be supported by technology at home rather than being institutionalised, new Government proposals envision.

Public Health Minister Shona Robison believes that housing will have to be redesigned to allow services to help those living in “clusters” and that care homes will have to specialise in dementia or end-of-life care.

Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Herald, she explained that demographic challenges will make such changes necessary.

Her comments follow a week-long campaign by our sister newspaper, The Herald, to raise awareness of elderly abuse in Scotland and will fuel the forthcoming Re-shaping Scotland debate on how to manage the country’s ageing population.

There is growing concern that care homes – which currently house 38,000 older people in Scotland – would not be affordable because of growing numbers and a perception that they tend to “­disable rather than re-able”.

The number of people in Scotland over 65 is projected to be 21% greater in 2016 than in 2006 – and 63% greater by 2031.

Government figures estimate yearly costs for health and social-care services for older people will increase by £1.1 billion by 2016, and £3.5bn by 2031, if care continues the way it is now.

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