Sefton residents are being asked for their views and experiences about living with dementia to help shape a borough wide strategy for improved services.
The draft strategy, ‘Living Well with Dementia: A Strategy for Sefton’ has been developed by the Health and Wellbeing Board, which brings together Sefton Council, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS England and Healthwatch Sefton.
The draft strategy has been developed working with a range of partners including Alzheimer’s Society as well as voluntary, community and faith groups.
Like most of the country, Sefton is seeing a continuing rapid increase in the number of its older residents. Older people in Sefton generally enjoy good physical and mental health, and they are a great asset to their communities through their many contributions to local organisations, neighbourhoods and their own families. Nevertheless, this increasing proportion of older people in the population will make greater demands on health and social care services, including those with dementia, so it’s important to plan for the future.
Dementia can affect adults of any age but is most common in older people. One person in 20 aged over 65 has a form of dementia, rising to one in five in those aged over 80. Dementia in people aged under 65 is relatively rare – less than 3% of all those with dementia.
Positive, proactive approaches to service development providing individualised support can help ensure that physical and mental health are sustained as long as possible, so that people live at home for as long as possible and that crises and unnecessary use of intensive costly services are minimised.
It remains our intention to ensure that older citizens experiencing dementia can access appropriate, joined-up services that are provided safely and effectively to maximise independence, choice and quality of life.
Cllr Paul Cummins, Cabinet Member, Older People and Health and Chair of Sefton Dementia Strategy Group, said: “This is the first stage of delivering a borough wide strategy for dementia. It is important that we now listen to residents who may be living with dementia or caring for someone who is, as well as from organisations and providers of services to ensure that the strategy is fit for the future.”
Dr Clive Shaw, Chair of NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We know that the vast majority of people affected by dementia will be older, which is why it is so important for us here in Sefton to make sure our strategy is right. Our population is getting older and we have many more over 65-year-olds than other parts of the country. In less than a decade we expect there to be nearly half as many more people aged over 85 years than there are now.”
Dr Rob Caudwell, Chair of NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “Having a single, jointly developed vision for improved dementia services in Sefton is essential if we are to make a real difference to the lives of those with the condition and the people who care for them. So we would encourage everyone in Sefton whose life is affected by dementia to tell us about their views and experiences of living with the condition, so we can be sure that our strategy to improve care and support in the future is based on what matters most to our patients.”
A copy of the draft strategy – ‘Living Well with Dementia: A Strategy For Sefton 2014-2019’, together with details of how to take part in the consultation process, can be found here.
The consultation on the draft strategy will run until 10 August 2014 and the final strategy is expected to be published in the Autumn.