20 May 2013

Dementia Awareness Week 19-25 May

Worrying changes nothing. Talking changes everything.

Taking their cue from the theme of this year's national dementia awareness week, teams from across the entire AWP region are talking about the work they do to support people with dementia and to find innovative ways to tackle the condition. 

Dementia awareness 2013Of course our staff are talking about dementia 52 weeks a year but this week helps to bring it to the attention of the public and media. Depending on where you are, you might hear, see or read about one of our dementia related services or projects. Just in case you miss them, here's a small selection of the ways we are committed to improving the chances of living well with dementia.

In Swindon, a number of initiatives are ongoing including closer working with our colleagues in acute care to strenghten the way we screen for dementia. Dr Simon Manchip is also looking at the way in which pain can be assessed and managed, leading to a reduced use of antipsychotic medication.

In Bath and North Somerset, improved links have been forged with the charity Dorothy House, as well as with the new commissioning groups, to ensure that care home staff are given the best training in understanding dementia and supporting those with the condition as they approach the end of their life.

A similar picture emerges from Bristol, where staff are supporting GPs to make diagnoses and providing care home liaison services. At Callington Road hospital in Bristol, staff from Laurel ward held a small garden party on Sunday 19th May and invited both current and past carers. The idea was to promote dementia awareness while having a good time. It seems they more than managed this as guests were treated to tea, cakes, nice weather and even a Frank Sinatra tribute act!
 
Wiltshire sees additional funding for memory services so that people do not have to wait for their assessments and diagnosis as may have previously been the case. Again, liaison and partnership working is key here with our staff playing an important role by taking their specialist knowledge into the GP surgeries and and primary care settings.

Staff from South Gloucestershire memory services will be taking part in South Glos council's 'dementia roadshow' when it stops off at Yate on Thursday 23rd May. Memory service team leader Grace Mawson will be running an information stall while one of our doctors will provide an introduction to dementia. That takes place at the Gateway Revival Church on Station road between 10.30am and 1pm.

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