Rise in demand for dementia specialists

(2 minutes to read)

Alzheimer’s and dementia are now the leading cause of death in England and Wales. Almost one in eight people died from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in 2018, with the proportion increasing for the fourth consecutive year – up from 12.7% in 2017 to 12.8% in 2018.

Vacancies for Mental Health Nurses (MHNs) specialising in dementia care have skyrocketed over the past year, with experts identifying a rise in the number of people living with the condition as the ‘greatest health challenge of our time’.

According to market analysis from WR Health, demand for professionals to care for patients with conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and frontotemporal dementia jumped by 304% between 2018 and 2019.

Employers are seeking MHNs with solid experience in providing expert practical, clinical and emotional support to families living with these conditions.

According to separate figures from Alzheimer’s Disease International, there are currently close to 50 million people worldwide who are living with dementia and this number is set to grow to 75 million by 2030 and 131.5 million by 2050.

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Emma Platt, Manager of WR Health, commented, “Over the past year, we have witnessed a phenomenal increase in demand for nurses who have experience in – and a passion for – caring for individuals with dementia. In care home settings, in particular, there has been a notable shift from hirers seeking more generalist adult nurses to mental health nurses with experience in dementia care.

“At a time when diagnosis rates are on the rise, due to people living longer and surviving other illnesses, an increase in vacancies is not altogether unexpected. However, the rate at which demand is accelerating is certainly noteworthy.

“Our clients are looking for nurses with a strong background in providing relationship-centred dementia care, who are able to support both patients and their families. And with the Alzheimer’s Society predicting that one million people in the UK alone will have dementia by 2021, this growth in demand shows no sign of slowing.”

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