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Aberdeenshire Council launch dementia care strategy

By Kirsty Brown

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In celebration of Dementia Awareness Week 2021 the new Aberdeenshire Strategy for Dementia Care and Support, Making Connections, has been launched.

Connections’ has been developed and written with the voices of those living with dementia and their carers at its core.

Following extensive engagement to really get to the heart of what support people with a dementia diagnosis need and expect we have developed a strategy which covers six main priority areas.

  • Being well informed – This was one of the top priorities for people with a new diagnosis of dementia and their families. As a result, we have developed a website dedicated to information on dementia support services across Aberdeenshire https://www.dementia-aberdeenshire.org/ We will also continue to work, to help people to better understand dementia and ensure that every person that receives a dementia diagnosis is given all the information they need to make sure that they can not only manage their condition but thrive.
  • Getting a diagnosis of dementia – Knowing what the signs and symptoms to look out for are and when to see a doctor to make sure that everyone gets an early diagnosis. An early diagnosis means that there is more time for people to prepare and to access the support and treatment that is available.
  • Knowing who to turn to – Getting the right help and support can be confusing and we will make sure that every person with a diagnosis knows what support is available to them and who they can contact should they need extra support.
  • Living well with dementia – Supporting people to live happy and safe lives and continue to play a role within their community.
  • Developing social care support – We will ensure that people get the right care and support at the right time and that services work together to ensure that each support package is developed with the person at its centre to support independence.
  • Caring for Carers – we know that caring for a loved one can be a difficult job and we will work to ensure that carers get support, training and respite.

Chair of the Aberdeenshire Integration Joint Board (IJB) Rhona Atkinson said: “I am pleased to announce the launch of 'Making Connections', Aberdeenshire’s Dementia Strategy for 2021 to 2030.

"The strategy was developed based on research, learning from earlier projects and talking to people living with dementia, their families and carers, our wider communities, third sector partners and health and social care staff.

“Making Connections has at its heart the lived experiences of those living with dementia and their families.

"The team behind the strategy did a huge amount of engagement to make sure that we heard those voices, to make sure we are investing in things that will make a real difference to people’s lives.”

Making Connections is accompanied by an Action Plan which will chart the progress of services against the aims of the strategy to ensure that the Aberdeenshire Health And Social care Partnership delivers the right services at the right time for people living with dementia.

Progress updates will be taken to meeting of the Integration Joint Board to ensure oversight.

Cllr Anne Stirling, Vice chairperson of the Aberdeenshire IJB councillor Anne Striling said: “COVID-19 has had a huge impact on those living with Dementia and their families, especially those who have taken on the role of caring for a loved one with Dementia.

"This strategy will help us to ensure that as we re-mobilise and strengthen our services we keep the needs of carers and those they care for at the heart of what we do.”

You can read the full Aberdeenshire Dementia Strategy here: www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/ahscp/health-and-social-care-strategies-plans-and-reports/

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