• A range of schemes are being introduced across Leicestershire and Rutland to support patients living with dementia.
• Services have also been commissioned from the Alzheimer’s Society to provide support for patients both whilst in hospital and in the community as well as for carers.
• West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Leicester City CCG and East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG are supporting Dementia Awareness Week 17-23 May with the theme “Life doesn’t end when dementia begins”.
• GPs will be working with patients to promote early diagnosis, and help people to plan ahead and make decisions about their care while still able to do so.
Health officials and clinicians across Leicestershire and Rutland are introducing a range of new initiatives to help those diagnosed with dementia.
These services will help patients and their families both in hospital and in the community, ensuring that they are supported, cared for and helped to live a full life.
Dr Chris Trzcinski, Deputy Chair of West Leicestershire CCG and a working GP, speaking on behalf of the three CCGs said: “Supporting people living with dementia is a key priority for us. It is predicted that there will be an increase of 74% in people aged 65 and over with dementia over next 25 years, and it is vital that the correct services are in place to support them. Dementia Awareness Week this year is focusing on the theme ‘Life doesn’t end when dementia begins’ and these initiatives will help to support patients and their families in continuing to enjoy a fulfilling life.”
Being admitted to hospital can be a stressful and confusing time for those diagnosed with dementia. A Dementia Support Service has been introduced at Leicester Royal Infirmary which will help to support both patients and their families to cope when they need to be admitted for planned care. Provided by the Alzheimer’s Society, patients will be offered additional support throughout their stay in hospital and prepared for discharge by the service, enabling a smooth handover to community services. It will also refer patients and their carers to other services and support agencies, where necessary. Patients can be identified by consultants and ward staff, or referred in by GPs.
New community services have also been commissioned from the Alzheimer’s Society where they will be working with those living with dementia, accompanying people to help them attend activities, and offering emotional support, information and guidance on living well with dementia both in group and one to one settings.
There is also support for carers, with programmes aimed at family members who support a person with a recent diagnosis of dementia, including a specific programme for South Asian families.
A scheme is also being rolled out across Leicestershire and Rutland to increase the rate of early diagnosis of dementia. Medication which can aid people living with dementia can now be prescribed by the GP when previously it was only available from hospitals, which allows patients and their carers to manage their medicines more easily.
Dr Trzcinski added: “Early diagnosis of dementia enables patients and their families to work with GPs to understand their condition and the implications of it, be prescribed medication where appropriate, and also to plan ahead and make decisions about their future care. If you or a loved one have any concerns around dementia, we urge you to make an appointment with your GP when you can discuss it further.”