From March to June anyone with an interest in dementia is invited to come along to the Somerset Dementia Wellbeing Service Roadshow. West Somerset has one of the oldest populations in the country and in Somerset, numbers over 65 being diagnosed with dementia is growing faster than the national average.
We are hosting the free roadshow to provide advice and support for those living with dementia and their carers and to help launch the new Somerset Dementia Wellbeing Service. The Service has been developed by those with lived experience of dementia and their carers, the voluntary sector, NHS Somerset, Somerset County Council and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. The partnership has been working together to improve diagnosis, enhance support in the community and provide an excellent, consistent services for people with dementia and their carers.
As part of the new service, we:-
• Are holding a roadshow with events around the county to showcase options available to support people with dementia and their carers, and to give people an opportunity to experience a free mobile dementia simulator experience on the Somerset Dementia Bus (please see dates and venues below).
• Have doubled the number of Dementia Support Workers (provided by the Alzheimer’s Society and funded by NHS Somerset), in Somerset so that every person diagnosed with dementia can be connected with support in the community and guided through their next steps.
• Have commissioned a localised version of the Dementia Connect phoneline, 01458 251541, to connect people directly with the Dementia Support Workers team who can offer information and practical guidance to help people understand the condition, cope with day-to-day challenges and prepare for the future.
• We have launched a new website to connect people with local dementia services and resources.
Dementia Action Week (15-21 May)
Dementia Action Week (15-21 May) is an awareness raising campaign. Each year, The Alzheimer’s Society works with individuals and organisations across the UK to encourage people to ‘act on dementia’.
What will be the focus for 2023?
Increasing diagnosis rates is such an important issue that is being focussed on it again this year.
Following a sustained drop in dementia diagnosis rates for the first time ever, the Alzheimer’s Society undertook research to understand the key barriers and benefits to getting a diagnosis.
As well as the misconception around memory loss just being part of getting old, their research found being in denial, and referral times to specialists, are big barriers for those experiencing symptoms to seek a diagnosis.
Getting a diagnosis can be daunting, but we believe it’s better to know. And so do 91% of people affected by dementia.
Do you have a dementia story you’d like to share? Let us know by filling out our form HERE.
SOMERSET DEMENTIA WELLBEING SERVICE ROADSHOW
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
- Friday 12th May – The Edgar Hall, Somerton
- Tuesday 16th May – The Bennett Community Centre, Frome
- Monday 22nd May – Wells Town Hall
- Friday 2nd June – Cheddar Village Hall
*Please note, the Virtual Dementia Simulator experience is open free to roadshow attendees on a first come, first served basis between 12:15 PM and 1:45 PM each day. No booking is required.
Somerset GP and NHS Somerset clinical lead for dementia, Dr Peter Bagshaw says
“We know what a stressful time it is for people and their families when they are diagnosed with dementia. We want to ensure that when people receive a dementia diagnosis in Somerset, they will be able to access the right support at the earliest opportunity.
“In Somerset, over 65s being diagnosed with dementia are growing faster than the national average. As of January 2023, NHS England estimated that just under 10,000 people in Somerset have dementia.
“We are delighted to have been able to work with people living with dementia and their carers, the voluntary sector, Somerset Foundation Trust and Somerset County Council to help those living with dementia and their carers receive the help that they need”.
“We welcome anyone with an interest in dementia to come down to our roadshows”.