North Yorkshire County Council is supporting a national campaign to raise awareness of the affect that living with dementia can have on people’s lives.
This year, national Dementia Awareness Week runs from 15 May and its theme is to encourage people who are worried about the impact that living with dementia may have on their lives to find out where they can go for information, help and support.
The County Council, in partnership with the NHS clinical commissioning groups in North Yorkshire, provides a dementia support service. Its aim is to improve people’s quality of life by promoting their independence and helping them to plan and maintain or widen their social networks while living with dementia. Dementia support workers help people to link with agencies and groups that can support them, including, if they wish, others who are living with the condition.
“In North Yorkshire, we have an ageing population and over 9,000 of our residents are living with dementia,” said County Councillor Clare Wood, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health Integration. “Evidence shows that people living with dementia and their families often do not get the information and support they need at the right time, particularly following a diagnosis of dementia.
“The North Yorkshire dementia support service helps and informs people so that they can start to come to terms with their diagnosis and understand the options available to them – accessing what they need, when they need it.”
The dementia support service is delivered by two voluntary organisations, Dementia Forward and Making Space. They provide a network of dementia support workers and hold regular drop-in sessions at libraries across the county. North Yorkshire libraries hold a range of dementia-related reading material to borrow.
The County Council also encourages people aged 40 to 74 years to take up the offer of a free NHS Health Check that aims to identify those at risk of serious, but potentially avoidable, conditions, including certain types of dementia. For further information, visit www.nhs.uk/healthcheck, visit the Council’s website, www.northyorks.gov.uk/healthcheck, or ask for more information at your GP surgery.
“Providing an effective dementia support service is part of the wider work the County Council is doing to improve mental health services,” added Cllr Wood. “Our mental health strategy – called Hope, Control and Choice – sets out our vision and priorities for mental health services, created in collaboration with users of those services.
“We know that people want services close to where they live, and more emphasis on wellbeing – on approaches that help them to avoid becoming ill in the first place. This is what we are working with our partners to develop and provide.”
Information about Dementia Awareness Week can be found at www.alzheimers.org.uk/remembertheperson.
Hope, Control and Choice can be downloaded from http://www.nypartnerships.org.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=32685&p=0