A new service for people of all ages in Hertfordshire living with dementia or memory loss and their carers or families started on 1st March 2017 and will build on the work of many organisations already providing valuable services for local people.
Hertfordshire County Council has invested an additional £260,000 into the service, which has three parts:
• Community services such as groups and activities, peer support, information and training. - led by Age UK Hertfordshire and delivered by a partnership including Hertfordshire Independent Living Service, Herts Mind Network and us, Carers in Hertfordshire. The support is going to be flexible and seven days a week (including evenings and weekends)
• One to One support to people post-diagnosis - provided by the Alzheimer’s Society. Dementia Support Workers and Dementia Advisers will provide support to people receiving a new diagnosis from the Early Memory Diagnosis and Support Service (EMDASS) or their carers for six months and to those after diagnosis if needed.
• Specialist dementia carer support – We will provide this with Dementia UK. There will be four specialist nurses (Admiral Nurses) working throughout Hertfordshire to provide intensive support for carers in or near crisis.
Councillor Collette Wyatt-Lowe, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to develop an enhanced level of integrated care and support for people affected by dementia in Hertfordshire. Bringing together the experience of Age UK Hertfordshire, Alzheimer’s Society, Carers in Hertfordshire and other partners, will mean that people in Hertfordshire will be supported fully to live well with dementia.”
As part of the new service we will work with Dementia UK to provide specialist carer support from April 2017 with registered nurses. The nurses will provide intensive support to carers of someone with dementia, who are in or at risk of crisis. Support could include tailored training, relationship management and liaison with other health and social care professionals.
Carole Whittle, our Health and Wellbeing Manager said: “We are pleased to bring our expertise to the partnership. The Admiral Nurses and a Carers Locality Worker will complement the support we already offer carers of someone with dementia, including our Dementia Carers’ Forums.”
The Community Service led by Age UK Hertfordshire will be a countywide service. It will enable people of all ages to seek information and advice about memory loss and dementia at an early stage, regardless of whether they have a diagnosis.
As part of the provision Age UK Hertfordshire and its partners will deliver the activity groups such as singing and Dementia Cafes that were provided by the Alzheimer’s Society for a transition period up to the end of May. Age UK Herts will be meeting with people at the groups to explain the new service model and discuss their needs.
The new model means local groups will be designed in response to local service users’ needs and preferences – including those for carers. Rather than activities being pre-defined by organisations there will be a more tailored style of support, maximising engagement and participation.
Groups will be closely supported for 10 weeks to get established and will then be offered further support to continue to operate by volunteers working under the guidance of a co-ordinator in their area.
Access the new services and advice is via Hertswise on 0300 123 4044. The trained advisors will work with callers to identify what support they would like and will refer them to the right services to meet their needs.
Jan Gough, Chief Executive of Age UK Hertfordshire, said: “We are excited about this opportunity to work with people across Hertfordshire and in particular about the chance to design services with and for the people who will really benefit from them. We understand that for people already using some services, change can cause concern, but want to reassure everyone that the new service will provide greater opportunities for activities, support and to meet more people than ever before.”
If you, or someone you care for use a dementia care service in Hertfordshire and have a question about this new service, previous provision or want to discuss the transition arrangements please call the helpline on 0300 123 4044.
We are currently looking to recruit an Admiral Nurse and you can learn more or apply by visiting clicking the link to our jobs page