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[quote]First specialist dementia advisors start work
09 July 2009 00:01
Department of Health (National)

People with dementia and their families will get more support throughout the course of the illness as the first dementia advisors start work from today.

Demonstrator sites, announced by Care Services Minister Phil Hope, will kick off in 22 areas around the country. An additional 18 sites will test different kinds of support networks for families and carers.

The advisors will act as a guide to help people with dementia and their families navigate the care and support system throughout their illness. They will help provide easy access to care, support and advice.

The sites piloting support networks will test different ways of providing local practical and emotional support for people with dementia and their carers and give them an opportunity to take an active role in developing local services. Some of the services that will be piloted include dementia cafes – places where people with dementia and their carers can meet up - and a simple social networking site which will allow people with dementia to network with others.

Several of the demonstrator sites will also focus on working with harder to reach minority groups such as people with learning difficulties, BME groups and people who do not speak English.

The Care Services Minister made the announcement while visiting the Croydon Memory Clinic - an example of the memory clinics which will be set up across the country to ensure early diagnosis and intervention.

Phil Hope said:

“This is the beginning of real change to transform the lives of people with dementia. We know that people with dementia and their families are under huge strain. Dementia advisors will be there for them when they need help, from diagnosis onwards.

“This project will test different support methods so we can see what families respond to best. After that, I want to see dementia advisors start taking up post all around the country. They will be crucial in making sure people with dementia and their families get the help and support they need.â€Â