Scottish Government 8 Pillars’ test site

Keeping local people with dementia in their communities for as long as we possibly can

In 2014, East Sutherland was chosen as one of five remote rural test sites for Scotland’s 8 Pillars Model of Community Support. The 8 Pillars Model outlines the key services, support and continuity of care that enable people with dementia to remain within their communities for as long as possible and the purpose of the test sites is to assess how effective this model actually is when put into practice at grassroots level.

The 8 Pillars are:

  1. Support for carers
  2. Personalised support
  3. Community connections
  4. Environment
  5. Mental health care and treatment
  6. General health care and treatment
  7. Therapeutic interventions to tackle symptoms of the illness
  8. Dementia Practice Coordinator

Together with NHS Highland and Alzheimer Scotland, we were chosen to use East Sutherland as a test site because of the many challenges faced by remote rural communities at grassroots level in relation to ageing populations: these include a lack of transport, housing issues, specific technology requirements as well as reduced access to facilities and services for families affected by dementia.

Besides collecting valuable data which will feed into the Scottish Government’s next National Dementia Strategy, the 8 Pillars’ Steering Group has also made remarkable progress around environmental issues, particularly technology, housing as well as supporting self-management using the 8 pillar framework as a performance framework.