In February The Thanet Gateway opens trials of a new information service for dementia sufferers and their carers.
With dementia costing the UK economy around £23 billion a year, mostly borne by the carers of dementia patients, it is worrying that people generally know so little about it or where they can get help. This is illustrated by the sobering estimate that, in Thanet, nearly two thirds of sufferers are not even recorded as such with their GPs.
Thanet Gateway is running a series of dementia drop-in advice ‘surgeries’ on a number of Tuesdays and Wednesdays between February and July. Patients and carers can just call in for free advice on
• local dementia-help
• how to access relevant health services or obtain referrals to other appropriate agencies
• how to get in touch with the local dementia-support networks.
Cllr Michelle Fenner Cabinet Member for Business, Corporate and Regulatory Services said: “While there are around 700 residents in Thanet known to GPs as suffering from dementia it is estimated that the true figure is over 2000. As most of these people are living in the community rather than in care homes it is really important that we make sure that information is readily available.
“This new Gateway service will help carers and sufferers in the early stages, to realise what problems they may encounter and to know where they can go to get help.”
Dementia mainly affects older women and men, with the rates approximately doubling for each five years of age. However it can affect younger people too, so this possibility is something which must not be overlooked by families, or the person themselves if the signs start to become evident.
The signs vary but include: memory loss, getting confused about messages and who people are, getting lost whilst out and about, problems with following conversations, repetition, using the wrong words for common things and appearing not to be paying attention. However all these symptoms can be caused by other factors, so it is best to seek advice if they persist.
The surgeries take place at Gateway Plus in Cecil Street Margate, between 10am and 12pm on the 1st Tuesday and the 2nd 3rd and 4th Wednesdays of each month until the end of July. Please just call in and ask at the Reception Desk.
They are being run in partnership with Admiral Nurses, the Alzheimer’s Society and East Kent Independent Dementia Support & Carers’ Support.
For more information, please contact Matthew Munson, Front of House Coordinator at the Thanet Gateway on 01843 577942 firstname.lastname@example.org