The impact of caring for Shropshire’s 7,000 dementia sufferers is “significant” and “of great cost” councillors will be told.

Members of Shropshire Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board will hear that there are 7,410 people in the county living with the condition – with 5,390 of these having a confirmed diagnosis.

The board will also be told that alcohol abuse is also having an impact on brain conditions such as alcoholic dementia, with 349 in the county suffering from the impact of drinking in this way.

Cathy Davis, commissioning and redesign lead – mental health at Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Dementia is a growing health problem and of the current 850,000 estimated UK prevalence, approximately 550,000 have confirmed diagnosis. 

“Our older population will see the most rapid growth in the next 20 years and as a result a growth an increase in dementia and other conditions affecting the elderly.

“In Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin there are an estimated 7,410 people living with dementia and 5,390 have a diagnosis.

“The impact of dementia on Shropshire health services remains significant and is of great cost. 

“Many live with dementia and multiple other long-term conditions. 

“Alcohol related brain damage, alcohol related dementia, alcohol amnesic syndrome as well as other conditions all occurs as a result of physiological changes to the brain, following long-term heavy alcohol use. 

“According to research, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome occurs in around two per cent of the general UK population and 12.5 per cent of dependent drinkers, extrapolating this to Shropshire equates to 349 people with the condition in the county.”

She added: “People with dementia spend spells in acute hospitals for otherwise home treatable conditions. 

“People with dementia also make disproportionate use of A&E services. Behavioural changes in the person and mental health crisis are the most common concerns for families living with dementia.

“The Shropshire Care Closer to Home programme is currently piloting a new personalised and integrated care approach of risk stratification and case management for people aged 65 and over, underpinned by the principles of identifying people and their needs earlier, enabling the provision of proactive preventative care and support from a joined up team of health, mental health and social care professionals.”

The board will discuss the issue at the meeting at Shirehall on Thursday at 10am.