THE growing problem of dementia is being tackled by countywide services in West Sussex.
A recent survey by the Department of Health found six out of ten people with dementia in England go undiagnosed – meaning almost 400,000 people could be going without the vital support the NHS and social care services can offer.
West Sussex County Council Leader Louise Goldsmith said: “Our Age With Confidence initiative aims to help people prepare for old age and to know where to go for information and advice. We want to make sure people are confident in preparing for and living well in old age.
“In West Sussex we have a range of dementia services, aimed at helping people with all stages of dementia. We’re planning on introducing more and in particular to encourage early diagnosis.”
by 2020 half the population in the UK will be aged 50 or over, and the prevalence of dementia doubles with every five year increase in age. In West Sussex, the number of older people continues to increase at a higher rate than nationally.
Cabinet Member for Adults’ Services Peter Catchpole said: “under Age With Confidence, the County Council will work with our partners in the NHS to support early diagnosis of problems, such as dementia, raising awareness and making sure there is better coordination of services.”
West Sussex County Council and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust already provide a range of dementia services including dementia crisis teams, mental health liaison and care home inreach.
Neil Waterhouse, service director at Sussex Partnership, said: “Working alongside our partners in West Sussex, we are now delivering some of the most effective services for people with dementia and their carers. We are proud to be part of Age With Confidence and we will continue to work hard to support people with dementia and to deliver an excellent service.”