9 June 2017
Devon County Council has commissioned a dementia support worker service from the Alzheimer's Society and agreed funding for a new Devon Memory Café Consortium, in moves that will develop support in local communities for people with dementia.
Around 14,200 Devon residents last year were estimated to have dementia, nearly two per cent of the population. The figure is set to rise to around 24,200 by 2036, affecting nearly three per cent of the population.
Devon County Council believes that enabling communities to be more resilient and able to respond to residents' needs will help people with dementia live independently for as long as possible, without need for ongoing care.
The new contract means that dementia support workers will continue to work in local communities with individuals to support them, helping people with the condition and their families to identify and make use of services in their community that can help them.
The council, and the two NHS clinical commissioning groups have also agreed funding, from the Better Care Fund, to support a new Devon Memory Café Consortium.
The consortium works to support more than 50 memory cafés in Devon, with plans for more.
Dr Simon Kerr, GP in Ottery St Mary and chair of NHS NEW Devon CCG Eastern locality, said: “We are really delighted to be able to support the Devon Memory Café Consortium.
“Key elements of building dementia-friendly communities are to shape communities around the needs and aspirations of people living with dementia alongside the views of their carers, and to offer organised activities that are specific and appropriate to the needs of people with dementia.
“Memory cafes fulfil these criteria and can be a lifeline for people affected by dementia and it’s great that this project will help more cafes to develop.”
Cllr Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council's cabinet member with responsibility for adult social care, said: "We're delighted to be working with the Alzheimer's Society and the Memory Café Consortium to help build networks of support in local communities for people with dementia and their carers.
"More people are living well with dementia thanks to the support of local groups and organisations - many of them charities and social enterprises that support people living at home."