Designed by the Alzheimer’s Society and funded by the Welsh Government, the packs, a UK first, provide information on the likely impacts of dementia and contain core information on national and local services. This vital resource - Living Well With Dementia After Diagnosis – follows the National Dementia Vision, which reflects the determination of the Welsh Government to develop high quality services, promote research, and encourage earlier diagnosis and more timely interventions.
Funding of £84,000 from the Welsh Government has also made possible the appointment of two Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Information Liaison Officers for north and south Wales to build links between key agencies and encourage meaningful collaboration and joint working.
The packs will complement other Welsh Government funded activity designed to raise awareness: the bilingual Wales Dementia Helpline offers emotional support and advice on a 24/7 365 days a year basis, and the groundbreaking Welsh Government Book Prescription Wales Scheme has been expanded to include four books on dementia as recommended by NHS health professionals. Funding from the Welsh Government of over £250,000 has been used by the Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) Wales to review, develop and deliver training to a wide range of individuals and organisations, including carers and family members, care home staff, and those working in community and hospital settings.
Recent years has also seen considerable investment by the Welsh Government designed to improve services. Recurrent annual funding of £1.5 million has expanded older people community mental health teams, with the appointment of new dementia co-ordinators, and established a new young onset dementia service for Wales.
The use of intelligent targets by NHS Wales will continue to improve the quality of care delivered to patients with dementias and help monitor outcomes, providing good indicators of where improvements are required and how best they might be implemented. Addressing memory assessment services, general hospital wards, and community and inpatient facilities, these targets will help ensure that patients receive safe and dignified care in the least restrictive way possible.
The emerging mental health strategy, Together for Mental Health will consolidate the progress of recent years and set out how the Welsh Government and its partners will continue to deliver real improvements for the people of Wales. Age-inclusive, designed to address the needs of children and adolescents, adults and older people, the strategy is presently open to public consultation.
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Lesley Griffiths AM said:
“I am delighted to join with the Alzheimer’s Society to launch this valuable resource. We should applaud the determination of the Society to provide clear, helpful advice to those with a dementia, their carers and families, and to stress that there are numerous sources of sensitive practical and emotional support available which make it possible to live well with dementia after diagnosis.”