A SPECIALIST centre for dementia sufferers in York will open its doors for the first time this month.

Windsor House Residential Home, in Acomb, has been set up by City of York Council to meet the needs of a growing number of dementia patients.

Over the next 14 years, the number of people diagnosed with dementia is set to rise by about 50 per cent. The number of sufferers aged over 85 is set to rise by 30 per cent.

The council said a shortage of residential care was leading to longer hospital stays for some patients. This caused bed blocking with elderly patients having to remain in hospital because there was nowhere else for them to go.

Eight permanent beds for older people with mental health needs, such as dementia, memory loss and confusion, are being provided at Windsor House. Residents will be admitted throughout January.

Head of adult services for York City Council Keith Martin said: "We are delighted that the new specialist unit is about to open its doors, as there is a real need for this type of facility in York. This and other developments form part of our response to the changing needs of our increasingly aged population."