A new service to help people worried about their memory, or residents diagnosed with dementia, their family and friends, called The Fylde Coast Dementia Hub, is launched this month.
The aim is to give those affected by the condition on the Fylde Coast area a ‘one-stop shop’ where they can get information, advice and practical support. This is a joint initiative between Clifton Hospital, Blackpool and Fylde & Wyre Dementia Action Alliances, Trinity Hospice and Lancaster University, supported by Blackpool Town Council, The Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, Blackpool Carers and many other organisations.
Dementia is a collection of symptoms caused by conditions which affect the brain. It affects a person’s mental abilities such as memory and thinking as well as their behaviour. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease.
There are currently over 10,000 people in Lancashire who have been diagnosed with dementia, but it is thought that the actual figure of people with the condition could be much higher. This means that thousands of people who could have dementia aren’t accessing treatments and support to help them live well.
This new Hub will build on the existing work of dementia-specialist organisations that already have a strong presence in the area. It will be an important part of providing early intervention and focus on maintaining independence in the community. It will provide advice from the memory clinic, nurses, financial planners, benefits advisors, lawyers, researchers, carer support, and palliative care as well as a chance to engage with people living with the condition.
Commenting, David Houston, Chief Executive at Trinity and Chairman of the Blackpool Dementia Action Alliance said: “We are pleased to be a part of this important new service. My mother is in the latter stages of dementia so my family and I know only too well why services like this are so important. Here at Trinity we are increasingly supporting patients and family members with dementia or mild cognitive impairment. It is vital that they access the same levels of health and social care support as other conditions and know where to find them.”
Dr Penny Foulds, Honorary Researcher at Lancaster University and founder of the Defying Dementia campaign said: ‘Research has revealed that early diagnosis can help people and their carers live well with dementia. We recognise people with dementia, and those who care for them, can feel isolated and often don’t know where to turn. This initiative is about helping our community know where to go for information and services when a diagnosis is made, or even before if they are worried about a loved one.’
Peter Brooks, Dementia Care Homes Officer at Blackpool Council said: “This is an ideal opportunity for people living with dementia, families and carers to meet together with professionals in one place to discuss issues face to face, rather than on a telephone or online -which can be difficult and frustrating.’
The Fylde Coast Dementia Hub will be held every month, starting on Friday 17th March, at Trinity Hospice, 2pm – 4pm. Everyone is welcome.