Dementia Cash vs Dementia Care

Dementia has been in the news again recently as plans are being introduced to pay GPs £55 every time they diagnose someone with the condition. Not surprisingly this plan has been criticised; surely there are better ways to manage people with dementia and improve diagnosis rates?

Alternatively we can start by creating a far more dementia-friendly society by improving awareness and understanding of this condition in our community.

In North East Lincolnshire there are around 2,000 people living with dementia, but the actual number is expected to be higher as we have an elderly and ageing population. We’ve already been working closely with our partners at the Alzheimer’s Society to create a dementia-friendly community and our GPs locally have also introduced a number of projects to increase diagnosis rates.

What do we mean by a dementia-friendly community? You may have heard of the national Dementia Friends campaign; anyone can do the face-to-face or online training delivered by the Alzheimer’s Society which gives you knowledge and understanding of the condition. In North East Lincolnshire we’re calling for businesses to join a local Dementia Alliance and become Dementia Friends. Employees will learn more about the condition and how it affects someone’s everyday life, so they can offer support to people with dementia when they need it. For instance, paying for something at a till can be more difficult for someone living with dementia as they might get 20 pence and 20 pounds mixed up; that’s why the training is ideal for local businesses.

We already have 15 businesses signed up including Freshney Place and are hoping to increase this next week at an event on Wednesday 29th October in Cleethorpes. The event, It’s Still Me, is taking place at the Cromwell Banqueting Hall in Cleethorpes from 2pm until 4pm. Organisations that are interested in the Alliance can speak to some of the 15 businesses that have already signed up and find out what it means to be a member.

With the support of local business we really can make the area we live a dementia-friendly community.

Dr Karin Severin
Clinical Lead for Older People and GP at Birkwood Medical Practice

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