Scottish Borders Council has put out to tender specialist dementia care based on a model of support which will be the first of its kind in Scotland.
The tender seeks 27 dedicated bed spaces – with nine in three units across the Borders – with specialist nurses to be recruited through the Council and NHS Borders to provide ‘in-reach’ support and care.
Councillor Frances Renton, executive member for social work and housing, said: “The model we are implementing will ensure we have a number of specialist units across the Borders that meet up-to-date environmental standards to encourage independence and wellbeing for people with dementia.
“As this is a new approach, and no similar specifications have been available to adapt, we have involved experts in formulating the model. Because of the complexities it has taken slightly longer than originally anticipated to put the services out to tender, but we are now well placed to move forward with the redesign of dementia services.”
National figures demonstrate that the number of people living with dementia will rise over the coming years and therefore a range of service development has been taking place in the Borders. A multi- agency Dementia Working Group is leading this work and is keen to ensure that the voices of people with dementia are heard and can inform future service development.
As part of these developments a specialist team has been developed by Social Work to support people for a year following a diagnosis of dementia. This team are also involved in the development of dementia diaries, which are a way for people to share information about who they are, how they want to live their lives and provide details about particular likes and dislikes, which can then better inform their care.
In addition ‘Dementia Cafes’ have been created, the most recent one being established in Duns. They provide invaluable support and information for people with dementia, their families and carers.