Dementia Parliamentary Reception - a Tale of Two Cities

Last night we were fortunate to be invited to the Dementia Parliamentary Reception at Holyrood.

We heard all about the Third Dementia Strategy. About opportunities presented by post diagnostic support but the shortage of resources to deliver it. The need to upskill frontline homecare staff in the delivery of palliative care. And to give them the time they need. To talk to, listen to and just be with older people. Lack of time was a recurring theme for GPs also. 10 minutes for appointments. The lead of one of the Integrated Joint Boards also spoke of the challenges of service delivery due to budgetary pressures.

I was left thinking of a tale of two cities. One rich city of ambition, strategy and policy where Scotland is acknowledged to be a leading light. And of a poorer city of inconsistent implementation - this too often being people's actual experience. While we rightly celebrate the former, we need to do so much more about the latter.

For example, just £700 per annum for each person diagnosed with dementia for a key link worker to support them. Combined with specialist services in their own home, that person is likely to spend two more years at home in familiar surroundings. Better for them and less strain on the public purse. Surely the right thing to do!?

The highlight of the evening was the Musical Memories Choir from Hamilton. Made up of people living with dementia and their carers -  you rocked the Parliament last night!