A local authority report has revealed that housing an extra 33 older patients in nursing and residential homes cost it an extra £540,000.

The business revenue case report by Conwy council’s director of social care and education was pleading for an extra £850,000 from council coffers to deal with financial pressures.

The department also asked for a further £2,150,000 to cover National Living Wage rises incurred by care providers working to provide council services.

It also said the number of older people’s care packages above 10 hours a week had jumped by a third in four years.

The report showed the number of care packages below 10 hours had reduced by 18 per cent between 2015-2019.

The study said the reduction had come after a review of all care cases.

The account claimed “the complexity of support required means many service users required two carers at once”.

It concluded: “By virtue of the fact that Conwy has a high percentage of older people as part of its demographic profile, it is inevitable that dementia features as a presenting issue for our service users, resulting in costly packages to support them.”

Conwy had been paying for an average of 500 older clients to be housed in private residential and nursing homes up to 2018-19.

In 2019-20, that figure had risen to 533 people, costing the authority an extra £540,000 a year – an average of more than £16,300 per placement.

The county owns and runs just one residential care home, Llys Elian in Colwyn Bay, which looks after people with dementia.

The Alzheimer’s Society estimates there will be 55,000 people suffering from dementia in Wales by 2021, with Conwy having one of the highest ratios of older people in the UK.

A Cardiff University study showed the Bay of Colwyn area alone had a higher density of older people than Japan, which is held up as a world leader in longevity.

The report also showed three-quarters of older people referred to social services do not require a formal care package when they finish “reablement support”, which allows them to live in their own homes.