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Our aim

That people in South Gloucestershire with dementia and their carers are able to live well and are supported to do so throughout the progression of the disease.

What we want to achieve

Our vision is for joined-up health and care service with support that has the individual at the centre and empowers them to remain independent and well for as long as possible.

Better coordinated support that focuses on a person’s well-being, health and care needs, can reduce their dependency on services in the long run and reduce or prevent hospital admissions. We want to provide more care in the community so that people can be supported to live safely and independently at home for as long as they wish. We also want to make sure that services work together more effectively to support people and their families, while helping people to access the voluntary social networks that are available in their communities.

Our priorities for action

  1. Increase awareness and understanding of dementia amongst professionals and the public
  2. Improve diagnosis rates and ensure a timely diagnosis for those with dementia. Ensure high quality information about dementia, local services and support is available to all those with a dementia diagnosis and their carers
  3. Develop care and support to meet the needs of individuals with dementia and their families and other carers, to maintain independence and avoid crisis
  4. Recognise the contribution of carers, and encourage and enable them to look after their own health and wellbeing as well as those they care for
  5. Improve provision for people who can no longer live at home, supporting care homes to meet the needs of people with dementia and developing alternatives
  6. High quality hospital care for people with dementia, including pathways to ensure appropriate and timely discharge.
  7. High quality end of life care

Common themes across these work streams

  • Safeguarding is everybody’s business
  • Planning and service provision based on evidence and intelligence about local need
  • The benefits of a healthy lifestyle in reducing the risk of dementia and slowing its progression
  • Services and support are available near to people’s homes and in community settings
  • The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health NHS Plan and complementary initiatives in social care, housing and the wider voluntary sector
  • Working with people with dementia, their families, other carers and providers of mainstream and specialist dementia services and support to meet their need
  • Strategic partnerships with colleagues in Bristol and the local universities through the Dementia Health Integration Team (HIT) of Bristol Health Partners and the Strategic Clinical Network’s South West-wide Dementia Improvement Group (DIG)

Background information about dementia can be found in the JSNA http://edocs.southglos.gov.uk/completejsna/pages/adults/dementia/

People at risk of developing dementia

Age is considered the highest risk factor for dementia, and the percentage and numbers of older people in the population is increasing. There is evidence for mid-life healthy lifestyle approaches to delay or prevent onset of dementia; the potential impact on future prevalence and service demand is not yet fully understood.

Keeping one’s mind active, being socially active, exercise, blood pressure control and other measures already known to reduce heart disease have been shown to reduce the risk of developing dementia. There is concern that due to the large areas of rural geography in South Gloucestershire, people may become socially isolated.

Dementia with learning difficulties

People with learning difficulties, particularly those with Down’s syndrome, are at increased risk of developing dementia. About 1 in 5 people with a learning disability who are over the age of 65 will develop dementia. People with learning disabilities who develop dementia generally do so at a younger age. Studies have estimated that 1 in 50 people with Down syndrome develop dementia in their 30s, rising sharply to more than half of those who live to 60 or over. If a person with a learning disability develops dementia, they will face different and additional challenges to people who do not have a learning disability (Alzheimer’s Society Factsheet).

Technology

Technology can be used to support people with dementia in many different ways. People with dementia and their carers already use various types of telecare to help them complete daily tasks and live safely.  We are working with various partners to develop and pilot innovative ways to support people with dementia.