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Dementia service for the future

Dudley Council has redesigned the way it provides dementia care for people across the borough.

The authority offers support to those with dementia and their carers at two centres in the borough, Brett Young Gateway in Halesowen, and The Crystal Gateway in Amblecote. Both centres remain open under the new arrangements.

The new proposals see more of the intensive support, including respite care, being delivered at the Crystal Gateway, while Brett Young now supports people who are at an earlier stage in their diagnosis. With an ageing population, better recognition of the symptoms of dementia and more people being diagnosed at a younger age, there is a need for the service to provide a new form of support.

The Brett Young Centre has a peer support focus, with users and their families co-producing the activities and services they need, supported by the council and health care providers. This means more social activities, more creative and fun ways to keep minds and bodies active and healthy for longer, clubs and interest groups, or whatever the drive is from the users. It is hoped that the centre will become a community hub and home to a range of services and activities, similar to the busy Queen’s Cross Network which has embraced this approach to shared service delivery and self-management of conditions.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:

"We know that our dementia services are hugely valued by users and their families which is why we have redesigned them to be stronger and better equipped for the future.

"We know that there are between 1400 - 1800 people in the borough who are at an earlier stage in their diagnosis and who would benefit from a specialist service which allows them to manage their condition earlier, rather than just providing respite care in the later stages. A life with dementia can continue to be a rich and rewarding life and we think redesigning our services will help to make this happen.

"We understand that changing people's routines and in some cases where the access this support can potentially be stressful for those involved which is why we have carefully planned the changes alongside everyone impacted."

To find out more about the dementia gateways and what support may be available for a loved one, call (01384) 816039.

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