South Gloucestershire supports Dementia Awareness Week
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To mark national Dementia Awareness Week (May 17 to 23), NHS South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and South Gloucestershire Council are promoting the range of support available locally for people living with dementia.
This includes assessment and treatment in GP surgeries, post diagnosis support for patients and their families, memory cafés, a patient information and support leaflet detailing key services and organisations, a South Gloucestershire Dementia Action Alliance and awareness roadshows.
Dr Peter Bagshaw is the Clinical Lead for Dementia at South Gloucestershire CCG, the GP-led body responsible for planning and buying healthcare for the local population. He said: “It is estimated there are more than 3,000 people living with dementia in South Gloucestershire and this number is expected to grow by 30 per cent by 2020 and nearly double by 2030.
“The number of patients being diagnosed with dementia and receiving rapid access to medication and support has improved dramatically over the past two years due to new ways of working we have put in place. There has been a huge energy and commitment around transforming care for those with memory problems in South Gloucestershire.
“We have a very successful Memory Service with nurses, psychologists and specialist doctors who support GPs to assess and treat people with dementia, and provide support for patients and their families.
The CCG works closely with South Gloucestershire Council, the Avon and Wiltshire Partnership NHS Trust, North Bristol NHS Trust and the Alzheimer’s Society to support people with dementia and their families.
Dr Bagshaw added: “There is also now wider information and advice available for both patients and their carers, care homes are better equipped to care for residents with dementia and there is a greater awareness of dementia throughout the South Gloucestershire community and more support to help people with the condition live well.”
A number of memory cafés run throughout South Gloucestershire for people worried about dementia. This includes a new weekly café at Southmead Hospital, which provides patients and carers with information and support during their hospital stay. The café takes place every Wednesday and is run by North Bristol NHS Trust and the Alzheimer’s Society. For more information about local memory cafés and support and advice in South Gloucestershire, visit www.southgloucestershireccg.nhs.uk/your-health-local-services/help-support/dementia/
In January, South Gloucestershire Dementia Action Alliance, which supports communities and organisations in becoming dementia-friendly, was launched. The Dementia Action Alliance works with local businesses, community groups, statutory and voluntary agencies to make South Gloucestershire a better place for people with dementia and their carers to live.
An Information Prescription for GPs and others to give to people diagnosed with dementia and their family and friends has also been developed. The leaflet details key services and organisations in South Gloucestershire where people can access information and support. It can be found via www.southgloucestershireccg.nhs.uk
From Monday, May 18 to Friday, May 22, Cambrian Green Day Services, a Dementia Day Centre in Yate, is opening its doors to the public and inviting families, social workers and practitioners along to have a look around. People can visit the award-winning day centre anytime between 11am and 12.30pm and 1.30pm and 3.30pm.
On Thursday, May 21, people experiencing dementia can take part in a creative project at Yate Library where they will work with artists to make films, books, performance and lots more. For more information, visit www.southglos.gov.uk/events/re-mapping-5/
Libraries also hold collections of books helpful to anyone who is living with or caring for someone with dementia. More information is available at www.southglos.gov.uk/reading4health Alternatively, visit any South Gloucestershire library where staff are trained dementia friends.
On Thursday, May 28 a Happy Memories Day will take place from 10am until 3pm at Coniston Community Centre. This is an event for black and other minority ethnic people living in South Gloucestershire to learn and talk about dementia. To book a place, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The CCG also works with partner organisations to organise ‘Living Well with Dementia’ roadshows designed for people recently diagnosed with dementia, their families and carers. The next roadshow takes place from 2pm until 4.30pm on Tuesday, July 14 at The Batch in Cadbury Heath.
Dr Bagshaw added: “Being diagnosed with dementia can leave the person and their family with lots of questions about what they can expect and what they can do to plan for the future. The roadshows provide useful information to help answer these questions and give reassurance that people with dementia are not on their own.”
For information on the Living Well with Dementia roadshows, please call 01454 862356.
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