New service delivers support to those living with the effects of dementia.
A new service has been launched in Sandwell that provides advice, information, and support across the borough for anyone living with the effects of dementia.
Sandwell Community Dementia Support Service has been commissioned by Sandwell Council and the NHS Black Country & West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group to deliver the service.
The service comprises nine local voluntary sector organisations, with the lead provider being Crossroads Caring for Carers.
The partner organisations are:
- Agewell CIC
- Dementia Pathfinders CIC
- West Bromwich African Caribbean Resource Centre
- Murray Hall Community Trust
- St Albans Community Association
- BUDS (Better Understanding of Dementia for Sandwell)
- Age UK Sandwell, and
- Alzheimer’s Society.
The service is also available to the families and carers of those living with dementia.
Referrals can be made via the "Single Point of Access"
Call the service on 0121 553 6483 and the individual can ask to speak to one of the Dementia Navigators. This can be done as a self-referral, by an individual's family member/ carer or by their GP.
After entering the 'Single Point of Access', the individual will be offered a triage assessment by a Dementia Navigator. Whilst liaising with the GP, a screening test will be completed alongside other assessments where appropriate. From here, a Community Dementia Advisor and Dementia Navigator will partner to develop a support plan according to the person’s needs. A range of support can be offered to make sure the individual with dementia is living well. A person's needs may change and so the Community Dementia Advisor will be there for the entirety of the person's dementia journey; giving support wherever is needed.
Support services will come from Age UK Sandwell and other service providers under the Sandwell Community Dementia Support Service. In addition to this, services run by community organisations will be signposted to ensure the person with dementia and their carers are receiving the personalised support that they require within their local area.
Overall, the aim is to ensure that people living with dementia and their carers are supported and living well. We will also work towards establishing localised dementia friendly communities by empowering organisations and towns to become more inclusive.
What is dementia?
According the NHS website, dementia is a syndrome associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning. There are many different causes of dementia, and many different types.
Dementia symptoms may include problems with:
- memory loss
- thinking speed
- mental sharpness and quickness
- language, such as using words incorrectly, or trouble speaking
- difficulties doing daily activities
Councillor Suzanne Hartwell, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for adults, social care and health, said: “Living with dementia or worries about your health can be very challenging and result in feelings of loneliness and isolation. Sandwell Community Dementia Service will work with individuals to seek a clear and early diagnosis of their condition, before delivering tailored interventions, helping people to make informed decisions about the support and care they receive.”
Councillor Maria Crompton, Deputy Leader, said: “We want the people of Sandwell to live well for longer. We are working with our voluntary and community sector partners to create community-based opportunities – such as Sandwell Community Dementia Service – that will ensure the support is in place so that our residents can live healthy lives with their friends and families.”
The partners represent the towns of Sandwell as follows:
- Wednesbury - Age UK Sandwell
- West Bromwich - West Bromwich African Caribbean Resource Centre
- Smethwick - St Albans Community Association
- Tipton - Murray Hall Community Trust
- Rowley Regis - Agewell CIC
- Oldbury - BUDS
The Alzhemier's Society are also providing the Dementia Connect service which service users can access any time, 7 days a week, more specifically when the Sandwell Community Dementia Support Service is out of hours.
Sandwell Community Dementia Service opening hours are 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday-Thursday; Friday 8:30am-4:00pm.
For out-of-hours, evenings, and weekends, please call Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Connect on 0333 150 3456.