Neurological patients living in homes for the elderly

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Sue Ryder Care said that more needs to be done to help those with complex conditions

14th September 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

People suffering with neurological conditions are living in homes for the elderly, a charity has found.

Sue Ryder Care has said that nursing homes are unsuitable for those living with complex conditions, and has called for a strategy for those with debilitating illnesses.

The charity said that without specialist services people with conditions such as Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and Huntington's disease will suffer.

Pamela Mackenzie, director of neurological services and Scotland for Sue Ryder, said: "It is shocking that people who have these complex conditions are being cared for in general nursing homes.

"It is not the fault of the nursing home, however, they are just not geared up to the complexities of these conditions.

"It does mean that they are not getting the level of care and support that they deserve and need to manage their life and their conditions on a daily basis."

A report by Sue Ryder revealed that nine of Scotland’s 14 health boards don’t have a neurological services plan. The authorities also do not intend to develop a plan with their local health and social care partnerships, which have been fully functional since 2016.

The charity said only five health boards and five of the 32 local authorities provide any kind of meaningful community service for people with neurological conditions.

Its study found there are 380 people with a neurological condition in a care home for older people, with 74 (19%) under the age of 65.

Scottish Government minister for public health, Aileen Campbell, said: "We want to ensure that people living with neurological conditions have consistent access to the best possible care and support, which is why we have started the development of Scotland's first national action plan on neurological conditions to help drive improvements.

"Whilst this work is at an early stage, the new plan will support the development of new neurological condition care standards which could be adopted across health and integrated community services.”

Last week, the government announced that free personal care would be extended to under-65s.

Case study: I want some quality of life for Dee

Thomas McGreevy’s wife Dee, 58, has a neurological condition and has been in an older people’s care home for two years.

"My wife’s life has been reduced to a mere existence," he said.

"I’ve long given up expecting any kind of miracle but now Dee is in a room 24 hours a day staring at the four walls. I can’t fault the care provided by the care home, but it doesn’t cater to what I feel are Dee’s needs. I just want her to have some quality of life.”