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Plans to transform dementia care in Harlow

Health / Wed 25th Oct 2017 at 07:13am

PLANS to transform dementia care in Harlow have taken a major step forward with the launch of a new joined-up countywide dementia strategy.

Building on the pan-Essex mental health strategy announced in July 2017, a new Southend, Essex and Thurrock Dementia Strategy, ‘Let’s Talk Dementia’ launched today at an event at Chelmsford City racecourse.

Nearly 20,000 people are estimated to be living with dementia in Essex, and this is set to increase to over 25,000 in the next ten years. Alongside this are those who are caring for a loved one with dementia, often over 50 hours a week. This is a challenge that local authorities and the NHS across Greater Essex are determined to tackle together.

The new strategy sets out plans to transform dementia care across Greater Essex and has been ‘co-produced’ with people who have experience of using dementia services in Greater Essex, both directly and as carers. It focuses on nine key priorities, including greater access to information and advice, timely diagnosis and support for carers.

Essex County Council’s Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “This new strategy signals a major shift for Dementia in Greater Essex: we will be more joined up in delivering dementia services for our residents.

“It sets out our shared commitment with local authorities and the NHS to rethink our approach to dementia. Our vision for the future is one in which people living with dementia are recognised as unique individuals who are actively shaping their lives and their care whilst being able to remain as physically and emotionally healthy as long as possible.

“Working closely with our partners, communities, families and carers, schools and businesses, and the voluntary and community sector over the next five years, we know how important it is to deliver this ambitious strategy to ensure people live well with dementia.”

The strategy event was a huge success and gave all those in Essex involved in supporting those living with dementia the chance to come together to share ideas.

Amongst many representatives from key organisations were the Alzheimer’s Society, Essex Police, Essex Fire Service, local authorities, NHS bodies, Dementia Friendly Swimming, Dementia Adventure, Peaceful Place and Southend Airport. Also present were people living with dementia and their carers, who had been involved in shaping the Let’s Talk strategy.

Lively breakout sessions in the afternoon provided information about funding and investment, transport for people living with dementia and information on how to become a dementia friend. Attendees also got the chance to go on the Virtual Dementia Tour, which offers the opportunity to experience what it is like to live with dementia.

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