New network launched to help sufferers of dementia
Devon County Council and the Alzheimer's Society have launched a new service of support for carers and sufferers .
Contracted by Devon County Council, the Alzheimer's Society has opened two new regional offices in Barnstaple and Exeter to co-ordinate the service which includes employing trained dementia support workers assigned to sufferers and their families and carers.
Volunteer befrienders will also be provided to sufferers helping them to continue community involvement.
Councillor Stuart Barker, cabinet minister responsible for adult social care, said: "The new dementia support workers work with people from first diagnosis to advise them and their families about help that's available locally, and help them make those important links."
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The increase in support means Devon will now have a fuller network of support workers compared to the two it had before. The dementia support workers will be based in communities right across the county, supported by volunteers and carers.
Dr Nick Cartmell, GP lead for Dementia at NHS Devon and NHS South of England (West), said: "This new service, designed to support people with dementia and their carers to live well with dementia, will make a huge difference to the quality of dementia care in Devon and empower such people to manage their personal situations more effectively." He added: "By commissioning this service from Alzheimer's Society, NHS Devon and Devon County Council are developing a stronger partnership with the UK's largest and most experienced dementia charity. I have no doubt that this is a huge step in the right direction for dementia care in the county and will have far-reaching benefits."
The Alzheimer's Society says over one in three people over 65 will develop dementia, and 800,000 people in the UK suffer. Kathy Milosevic, Alzheimer's Society manager for Devon and Cornwall, said: "I'm thrilled that thanks to the Council's investment, Alzheimer's Society will be able to reach out to more people living with dementia in Devon. There are currently 13,589 people with dementia in Devon but only 36% have a formal diagnosis. We hope these new services will encourage those who have been reluctant to give or receive a diagnosis before now, to visit their GP knowing there is now support out there for them."
The service includes a new Alzheimer's Society telephone hotline with support workers. The number is 0300 123 2029 or they can be emailed at email@example.com.