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Living with dementia
What is dementia
Dementia describes a group of symptoms associated with a progressive decline of brain functions, such as memory, understanding, judgement, language and thinking. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. People with dementia are at an increased risk of physical health problems and become increasingly dependent on health and social care services and on other people.
In Cheshire East there are estimated to be 5730 people over the age of 65 living with dementia.
- 65% are likely to be women
- one in five people over 80 has a form of dementia
- one in 20 people over 65 has a form of dementia
18% of Cheshire East’s population is over the age of 65. We have the highest percentage in England compared to 16% nationally.
The impact of dementia on the individual and their family can be substantial and distressing. The Council intends to lead the way in engaging with and providing support to people with dementia and their families and carers as early as possible, and to complement and strengthen existing services in Cheshire East.
Help from your doctor
If you are worried that your memory or that of someone you know is getting noticeably worse, or if memory loss is beginning to affect everyday life, it is worth seeking advice. Memory problems can sometimes be an early sign of dementia.
The first step should be to visit your GP who will listen to your concerns and rule out any other causes of your memory loss. There are many reasons for memory loss other than dementia. It is best to seek help as early as possible as there may be support or treatment available that can help you. Your GP may refer you to a local memory clinic where a formal diagnosis can be made.
If you do receive a diagnosis of early dementia you will be offered a referral to the Dementia Reablement Service who will be able to help and support you and your family or carer to live well with the condition.
Memory assessment and dementia services
Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) provide a range of services to people with memory problems and their carers, from assessment to support and treatment of people with diagnosed dementia. Memory assessment services and clinics, will help determine the cause of someone’s problems and also decide if medication would help delay the illness.
If your GP is concerned that you may have dementia they will refer you to the memory assessment and dementia services to have a specialist assessment. CWP provide more information on memory services and the assessment process in the memory assessment leaflet. For residents of Cheshire East, the memory services are provided at various centres across Cheshire East, and your GP will advise you of your nearest centre.
Find dementia support groups
Dementia Connect (developed by The Alzheimer’s Society) can help you find services and help in your area using a map, or search by entering your postcode, town or city.
Other dementia contacts
Dementia joint commissioning work plan
Cheshire East Council , NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS South Cheshire CCG have developed a joint commissioning work plan that considers local support needs in relation to dementia together with service provision in order to strive to have the right services in the right place for the right people.
It sets out how the three partners will secure, specify and monitor services to meet people's needs at a strategic level. It applies to services provided by the NHS and the Local Authority, other public agencies and the private and voluntary sectors.
It provides a framework to support the provision of flexible, responsive and equitable services to enable us to work in partnership to improve the care and support given to people with dementia and their families and carers and to meet national and local key targets.
"Our shared ambition is to make a real and positive difference to the lives of people affected by dementia living in Cheshire East. We want to ensure that people with dementia and their carers receive high quality, compassionate and timely care whether they are at home, in hospital or in a care home. We will continue to strive to make Cheshire East a truly dementia friendly community."
Cheshire East Council is committed to raising awareness of dementia not only in its communities, but also with its staff.
Several staff members have completed Dementia Champions training with The Alzheimer’s Society, which means they can deliver Dementia Friends Awareness Sessions.
As of June 2015, over 250 staff have attended an Awareness Session and are now ‘Dementia Friends’.