Dedicated support workers to be made available to people suffering with dementia

28 July 2014

North Yorkshire County Council and the NHS have commissioned a new service to help people suffering with dementia.

A dementia support worker will be made available who can help them link up with agencies and provide a wide range of information and advice.

Evidence has shown 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 role of the Dementia Support worker will be to support and inform 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 aim of the service is to improve people’s quality of life, promote their independence, help them to plan and to maintain or widen their social networks.

The County Council – in partnership with the NHS clinical commissioning groups in North Yorkshire – has signed contracts with Dementia Forward and Making Space. The two voluntary organisations will work in different localities across North Yorkshire managing a service that will include dementia support workers. As well as providing advice, information and signposting to relevant services, the new service will work alongside other community organisations providing help for people with dementia and their carers. It will also provide learning programmes, so that people can understand the condition better and develop coping strategies to live as well as possible with dementia.

County Councillor Clare Wood, executive member for adult social care and health integration said: In North Yorkshire we have an ageing population and over 9000 of our residents are living with dementia”

We are committed to ensuring we do what we can to better meet the needs of people living with dementia. Receiving a diagnosis of dementia is a life-changing event.

“People with dementia and their carers have told us that they would value having a key contact person whom they trust and who is knowledgeable about a whole range of dementia-related issues. The new dementia support staff will work alongside the person living with dementia, their family and carers to provide that contact, supporting them to make choices about their care and have control over their lives.

Any health and social care professional can refer into the service. In addition, self-referral is possible for anyone who has a concern about dementia, either for themselves or someone they support. The service is aimed at people with dementia and also at families/carers.

The new Dementia Support Service is based across North Yorkshire and workers will work out in the community and visiting people in their own homes as much as possible. The service will be run by a team of paid staff and also by volunteers.

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