Alzheimer's Society chosen to deliver support service for dementia in Kingston
From 1 August, the Alzheimer’s Society will provide support services for those with a diagnosis of dementia and their carers on behalf of the council and NHS Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group.
The new service will build on work already underway to create a “dementia-friendly community” in the borough as part of the implementation of Kingston’s dementia strategy, (2015 - 2020) such as the recruitment of hundreds of dementia friends, awareness training targeted at local businesses including the John Lewis Partnership, Specsavers and the Metro Bank, and a directory of dementia services in the borough where people with dementia and their carers can find out about services local to them. This complements the dementia support service based at Surbiton Health Centre which supports recently diagnosed patients referred by their GPs with their future treatment plans.
There will be a continued focus on encouraging other groups, organisations and businesses in Kingston to commit to making decisions with an increased understanding of the condition, as well as reaching out to groups in the community.
A “dementia-friendly community” is defined by the Alzheimer’s Society as a city, town or village where people with dementia are understood, respected, supported, and confident they can contribute to community life. More than 1,700 people in Kingston are living with dementia.
Councillor Kim Bailey, Kingston Council’s portfolio holder with responsibility for Public Health, said:
“We’re delighted to be working with the Alzheimer’s Society on the dementia development and support service. They do incredible work and we’re confident they will deliver terrific support for people in Kingston with dementia, as well as helping equip families and carers in the best possible way to assist those with the condition.”
Hilary Dodd, Services Manager, Alzheimer's Society in Kingston Upon Thames said:
“A diagnosis of dementia can be a daunting and bewildering experience and many people don’t know there’s support available or how to access it. From the beginning of someone’s journey with dementia, right the way through the condition - dementia advisers and dementia support workers are there to support and provide information in the right way, at the right time and signpost people to additional support.”
“We are really pleased to be working with Kingston Council and Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group to deliver these new dementia support services in the borough, which will enable us to support a larger number of people affected by dementia.”
Tonia Michaelides, Managing Director, NHS Kingston CCG, and mental health lead for south west London, said:
“As the NHS improves diagnosis of dementia, we realise that more patients, their families and carers will need support. Creating an environment where people with dementia can feel confident they will be treated well and understood will go a long way to supporting people to live with dementia in their community and help their overall wellbeing.”
The service aims to raise awareness of the condition and work with people recently diagnosed with dementia to develop an improved understanding of their needs, and support adults with dementia to receive the services, help, information and advice they require. Other objectives include ensuring the services and support provided are local, accessible and meet the range of needs of the community including those with early onset dementia, offering help through the likes of telephone, email, face to face, community/clinic-based, home visits, one to one and group support, and training families and carers of people with dementia.
If you are concerned that you or a family member is getting increasingly forgetful and may be developing dementia, book an appointment with your GP or Practice Nurse for a chat about this; or visit NHS Choices for further information: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia/about.
The number of Kingston residents over the age of 65 with dementia is increasing and is predicted to be 2,100 by 2027.
With an ageing population and increased demands for health and social care services the financial costs of meeting the needs of people with dementia in Kingston is on the increase.
The average national social care costs of caring for someone with dementia is over £12,500 per person.
Delaying admission to residential care by a year delivers an efficiency of at least £11,500 per person with dementia.