Charity Les Amis is planning to open the Island’s first elderly and complex needs nursing care unit for islanders with learning disabilities. Jersey dementia nursing facilities are currently full and the island faces an increasing older population, with a projected rise of 35% between 2010 and 2020. Approximately 7% of older adults will have dementia. Jersey has very limited capacity in long-term care for adults with complex needs; these individuals are often delayed in hospital because there is no appropriate long-term care for them in the island.
The new unit will provide long-term residential accommodation to adults with learning disabilities who have nursing needs and may have also developed complex needs or dementia. Les Amis staff and registered nurses will provide 24-hour care. Les Amis will be fundraising to furnish and equip the complex needs unit. It will include en suite bedrooms, a sensory room, an atrium and garden and will be suitable for high-dependency end-of-life care. The project has the full support of the States of Jersey Health and Social Services Department.
We know that around 1,600 people are currently living with a form of dementia in Jersey, but probably only half of them have received a diagnosis. We also know that the number of people with dementia is likely to double in the next 20 years.
If we consider that people with learning disabilities are more likely to suffer illnesses and conditions much earlier in their lives than the general population, the above statistics are very worrying for Les Amis, and the Island in general. It is why this new unit is not just desirable but essential.
Senator Andrew Green MBE, Minister for Health and Social Services, said: “If Jersey is to continue providing safe, sustainable services which offer choice and quality care for Islanders’ long-term needs, we need to increase the number of nursing bed homes and respite facilities for individuals with complex needs and/or dementia. This demand is highly likely to continue into the future and is becoming increasingly urgent. I am, therefore, fully behind this project and wish Les Amis every success with this essential and exciting development.”
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