Living with dementia, the care and support on offer across the county, and a new dementia self- assessment tool developed by North Yorkshire County Council were subjects discussed at an “inspirational” conference in Thirsk.
Called The Dementia Congress – celebrating and sharing good practice in North Yorkshire, the event was held at Thirsk racecourse last week and brought together adult social care providers from the private, voluntary and local authority sectors, including members of the County Council’s Health and Adult services team.
The keynote speech by County Councillor Clare Wood, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health Integration, and Mike Padgham, Chair of the Independent Care Group, was followed by a presentation about the day-to-day experiences of living with dementia.
County Councillor Wood said:
The congress sessions have been inspirational.
We heard progress updates from many of the organisations who are working with the County Council to provide the best possible support for people in the county whose lives have been affected by dementia. These included presentations by colleague from Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia Care Matters, Sporting Memories and representatives from the NHS as well as the Independent Care Group.
In North Yorkshire we have an ageing population and more than 9,000 of our over-65s are living with dementia. Many more family members and friends will be affected through taking on caring responsibilities and most of us will know or care for someone with dementia.
It is vitally important that we continue to work with our partners to lead the way in good practice for supporting those living with dementia, their families and carers. The new self-assessment tool we have developed will help providers to review and improve their service for people with dementia.
The County Council is also developing a dementia strategy and the outcomes of the congress will feed into its final content.
As well as its work with organisations represented at the congress, the County Council – in partnership with the local NHS clinical commissioning groups – has commissioned a Dementia Support Service with 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 also hold a range of dementia related reading material to borrow.