South Staffordshire is to become a more dementia-friendly community as Lindsey Smith joins the Alzheimer’s Society this week (20 June) as a new information worker with a focus on the area.
She will be encouraging individuals and organisations to share the responsibility for ensuring that people with dementia feel understood, valued and able to contribute to their community.
Mark Jenkinson, District Public Health Development Officer at South Staffordshire Council, said: “We were delighted with the progress made by the Alzheimer’s Society information worker last year.
"Through her work over 400 people became Dementia Friends in the Seisdon peninsula. That’s 400 people who now have better understanding of what living with dementia is like, and the understanding that showing a bit of patience really helps people living with dementia when they go about their daily activities.
"The South Staffordshire Partnership is pleased to be able to continue to fund this role for another year.”
Funding through the partnership has been provided by a number of partners including three Staffordshire clinical commissioning groups - South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula CCG, Stafford and Surrounds CCG and Cannock Chase CCG.
Adele Edmondson, Community and Engagement Manager at the CCGs, said: "We will be particularly working with Lindsey this year to support her in encouraging general practices to become more dementia friendly. This will help people with dementia access appropriate services and support from their local general practice including a timely diagnosis.
"We know that they sooner a person has a diagnosis, the sooner they can start planning for the future and get the support they need to do this."
Lindsey will be building on the work of the previous information worker. This will include the launching a Memory Book later this summer. This book tells the stories and experiences of both people living with dementia in the Seisdon peninsula and those that support them - their unpaid carers and professionals. These stories were collected by pupils from Wolgarston High School last year.
Lindsey Smith said: “I am excited to be taking on the dementia-friendly mantle for this area. I will be continuing to increase the numbers of Dementia Friends in the area. I would love to hear from any groups or organisations in the South Staffordshire district who would like to have a Dementia Friends session.
"I’m also looking forward to meeting staff and members of the Patient Participation Groups at the general practices in South Staffordshire and working with them to become more dementia friendly.”
Support for people with dementia and their carers is provided by the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Advisor Service, which operates throughout Southern Staffordshire.
They can be contacted on 01543 573936. Lindsey Smith can also be contacted on this number.
* Alzheimer’s Society supports people to live well with dementia today and funds research to find a cure for tomorrow. We rely on voluntary donations to continue our vital work. You can donate now by calling 0330 333 0804 or visiting alzheimers.org.uk
* Alzheimer’s Society provides a National Dementia Helpline, the number is 0300 222 11 22 or visit alzheimers.org.uk