Fewer people are dying in care homes in Wales

Ty Coch Nursing Home in Llanishen – one of many care homes in Wales that have seen a 20% drop this year. SOURCE: JAGGERY

Wales has recorded its lowest number of care home resident deaths since 2015. The report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that there were 6,612 deaths in care homes in 2021. That’s 19.7% lower than the 8,236 reported deaths in 2020.

On average, each care home in Wales lost at least six of its residents last year.

Out of all local authorities in South East Wales, care homes in Bridgend saw the highest number, with each home in the area losing eight residents last year.

The ONS report also found the number of COVID-related deaths in Welsh care homes dropped for men and women. 774 deaths were linked to COVID last year – five hundred down from 2020.

This year, only 11% of care home resident deaths were directly linked to COVID.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are still the biggest risks to care home residents. A third of all deaths in 2021 are linked to those suffering from memory loss.

Tamsyn Harris, Senior Analyst for ONS, says many factors contribute to a lower death toll last year. Two of the factors were the number of people vaccinated and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). This is partly because of the Welsh Government provided free PPE to social carers in 2021 after an increase in COVID infection rates.

The number of deaths has returned to levels last seen before the pandemic.

Care Inspectorate Wales were also approached for comment and are yet to reply.