In Suffolk over 13,000 people are living with Dementia, many supported by unpaid carers, husbands/wives, families, friends and neighbours. People living with Dementia have been the worst hit by the pandemic accounting for a quarter of all coronavirus deaths in the UK. The pandemic has shown that our social care system needs to be improved and the Alzheimer’s Society is lobbying the Government through Dementia Action Week to rebuild the social care system in 2021.
ActivLives provides a wide range of inclusive activities for people 60 plus, from Community Gardening, Singing, Sport, Falls Prevention Better Balance sessions and specialist support for people living with Dementia and their carers and fun social sessions for Carers / Former Carers, to provide respite and to rebuild people’s social networks. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic many of our activities had to close, but we didn’t let that stop us and so we developed a variety of singing, exercise and social zoom sessions, Videos, Activ@Home activities, Quizzes, WhatsApp groups, Befriending and welfare calls, outdoor singing sessions, 1-2-1 walks, small group walks, quiz nights and more.
From the 17th May we will be opening up activities that have been on-going through the lockdowns such as our Community Gardens and slowly re-starting some of our other sessions, with more to follow after the 21st June. We are looking forward to seeing our members and volunteers face to face again and remembering those we have sadly lost. We will be contacting all our existing members to inform them about when sessions will be re-starting and then we will be welcoming new members, particularly people who may have struggled through the lockdowns to come and join our welcoming, fun and social activities.
If you would like more information about our activities then please visit our website www.activlives.org.uk or contact our main office on 01473 345350. m. As part of Dementia Action Week we would like to pass on some important information for people living with Dementia and their carers from the Suffolk Dementia Forum.
- If you already have a diagnosis of dementia and have not received an annual review from your GP insist on one, it is your right to receive an annual review to check how you are and if any medications need reviewing
- If you have had a diagnosis of Memory Cognitive Impairment (MCI) in the last year and you or a loved one have concerns about the deterioration of their/your mental and physical health and wellbeing during lock down contact your GP to discuss further so a full review can be undertaken and where needed a further referral to the Memory Assessment Service can be made
- If you are a carer of someone with memory concerns or a diagnosis of dementia please ensure that your GP knows that you are carer paid or unpaid, it is important that you are recognised in your own individual right but your roles as a carer is important too.
- If you have a loved one in a care home please ensure that:
- If they have a diagnosis of dementia – that the care home has confirmed this with the GP and is on their practice records
- If they have been diagnosed with dementia since/during lockdown – that the care home has made this diagnosis with the GP and is on their practice records and care home records
- If you are concerned about their memory then please ensure that the care home has informed the GP to follow up any concerns about an individual’s memory
- Any note in the records that mentions “dementia” “memory loss” ensure that the care home has linked with the GP to confirm this or arrange the appropriate assessment in the home
Please note that individuals within care homes should not be asked to attend a clinic, this can be completed virtually using attend anywhere or face to face at the home by the memory services.
We want to ensure that
- everyone with a dementia diagnosis gets the support they need at the right time, in the right place
- everyone with a dementia diagnosis has an annual review to review their medication, health and wellbeing
- everyone with a dementia diagnosis has the right information recorded within their GP records
- everyone with a diagnosis of MCI has an annual review to monitor their health and wellbeing and that their GP records are up to date
- everyone is entitled to a review for memory concerns and dementia at the memory clinics via their GP or other professional
- every carer is given the right support by their GP in their own right as well as their carers role, paid or unpaid
- everyone is entitled to the pre and post diagnostic support at a time that suits them
- everyone has the right to appropriate care from the services within the wider system in a timely manner
If you or someone you know needs support, please ensure that they are aware of the following please, Suffolk has some fantastic support services, statutory and voluntary:
- Alzheimer’s Society: Alzheimer’s Society – United Against Dementia – 0300 222 1122
- Care Coordination Centre: 0300 123 2425
- Dementia Together (Sue Ryder): Dementia Together Suffolk – Home (dementia-together.com) – 08081 688 000
- Norfolk & Suffolk Foundation Trust Dementia Intensive Support Team East (DIST): 01473 891733
- Norfolk & Suffolk Foundation Trust Dementia Intensive Support Team West (DIST): 01284 733260
- Suffolk Family Carers: Suffolk Family Carers | Established Charity Helping Family Carers
– 01473 835477
- Suffolk County Council Customer First line: Contact adult social care (Customer First) | Suffolk County Council – 0800 917 1109
- Suffolk Parent Carer Network: https://spcn.org.uk/ – 07341 126455
- Samaritans: https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan
– 116 123
- Total Voice Suffolk (advocacy): VoiceAbility | Suffolk – 01473 587631