Dementia Strategy consultation
A public consultation into a county-wide dementia strategy launched on Monday, (4 July) to coincide with the start of National Dementia Awareness Week.
The draft Essex, Southend and Thurrock Dementia Strategy, aims to increase awareness and reduce the stigma of dementia.
With over 22,000 people living with dementia in Essex it is important those with the condition and their carers are able to remain independent and receive the best possible support and treatment.
The strategy will work towards this while also helping shape the future management of dementia across the county.
Cllr Tony Fish, Thurrock Council’s cabinet member for adult social care, said: “The aim has been to meet the objectives of the National Dementia Strategy while encouraging the flexibility of responding to local needs.
“I hope residents will take this opportunity to respond to the draft strategy as it is only with the input of local people that we can ensure we are all delivering services people want and need.”
In 2010 1,480 people living in Thurrock were found to have some form of dementia, this is predicted to rise to 2,623 by 2030. Dementia is not just an age-related problem as early-onset dementia affecting those under 65 is also an issue.
The Alzheimer’s Society works very closely with Thurrock Council and the local mental health trust, providing information, advice and support to people with dementia and their carers from diagnosis onwards. This support can enable people to continue to maintain their independence and access community facilities with their carers.
Thurrock Council’s workforce training and development team provides dementia awareness training to staff across the statutory, private and voluntary sectors and plans are in place to develop this programme further.
Staff at Collins House ─ Thurrock Council’s residential care home ─ have also recently been involved in a pilot scheme to raise awareness of dementia and to examine specialist, person-centred, holistic care.
The Dementia Strategy for Essex, Thurrock and Southend has been developed through partnership working between Thurrock Council, Essex County Council, and Southend on Sea Borough Council along with the North Essex PCT Cluster, South Essex PCT Cluster, North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust.
It provides an overarching statement of how access to diagnosis, treatment, support and advice for those living with dementia can be improved.
As Essex as a whole, has a higher than average aging population it is likely the numbers of those living with dementia will increase to 35,000 by 2025. It is an issue that could affect anyone which is why it is important to have your voice heard during the consultation.
The consultation runs until 19 September and copies of the Essex, Southend and Thurrock Dementia Strategy are available via the Thurrock Council website (www.thurrock.gov.uk) or by calling 01245 430217. All residents are invited to complete the consultation regardless of the contact and involvement they may have previously had with dementia.