People whose lives have been affected by dementia, their families and carers can get free help and support from a new service available across North Yorkshire.
The service is being provided by Dementia Forward and is funded by North Yorkshire County Council and the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) covering the county, as part of their work to help people live independent, healthy lives for as long as possible. Dementia Forward has been working with the County Council in the Harrogate and Vale of York CCG areas and they will now also cover Scarborough and Ryedale, Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby and Craven CCG areas, previously delivered by Making Space.
Richard Webb, North Yorkshire’s Corporate Director for Health and Adult Services, said: “Dementia Forward is a local charity that provides a highly responsive, individual support service for people living with dementia, and the people who care for them.
“The aim of the service is to help people living with dementia and their family, friends or carers to feel empowered and informed so that they have choices following their diagnosis. Information, advice and support is provided through a wide range of local services, including a North Yorkshire Helpline; home visits from a trained dementia support advisor; signposting to other sources of help; education programmes and a range of wellbeing and social activities.
“One of Dementia Forward’s most popular activities is singing. Two members from one of their groups told us: ‘We started in January. David was diagnosed last year and a Dementia Support Advisor from Dementia Forward came out to see us and she told us about all the different support and activity groups. David loves it and looks forward to it - now he can't drive and you're very restricted when you have dementia. We've never gone out singing or done anything like that but it's really good isn't it?’ and ‘It lifts you up and you look forward to coming.’ How good is that!
“Dementia Forward will continue to increase understanding of dementia across North Yorkshire, and build on the excellent work previously delivered by Making Space. Their remit will also include education and awareness sessions to a range of groups, including schools and businesses.”
The support service is available to anyone living in the county who is affected by dementia, from pre-diagnosis to end of life. Support will be provided to those diagnosed, their family and carers, including situations where a family member lives outside North Yorkshire. Dementia Forward will be a key partner in implementing Bring Me Sunshine, the dementia strategy for North Yorkshire.
Jill Quinn, Chief Executive of Dementia Forward, said: “Being awarded the contract across the whole county is extremely important to us as we have looked forward to ensuring everyone living in North Yorkshire can access the same quality of dementia care and support.
“Our services are designed to give the right support at the right time, and from the very first conversation with us we can open doors to the things that people may need. We achieve this by working closely with colleagues in health and social care services and other voluntary organisations, as well as the wonderful support provided by volunteers and local communities.
“We want to encourage people who are looking for dementia support to get in touch in touch with us, and also hope to hear from people who would like to volunteer with Dementia Forward.”
Dementia Forward will be holding information roadshows across North Yorkshire throughout May. For further information about them and the services Dementia Forward provides, ring the Dementia Forward Helpline 03300 578592 or go to www.dementiaforward.org.uk.
Dementia Forward’s second Dementia Conference is called ‘Show me you care 2019’ and will be held on 1 July 2019 at Rudding Park, Harrogate. To express an interest in attending, email firstname.lastname@example.org.