Providing help for dementia sufferers

5:00pm Monday 11th March 2013

By Melanie Adams

A NEW service is being launched to help the thousands of dementia sufferers in Hampshire to live the life they want for longer.

The Dementia Advice Service opens its doors in Eastleigh romorrow after its pilot proved a huge hit with those struggling with the debilitating disease.

As the number of those being diagnosed with dementia continues to soar – in Hampshire 8,695 people were struck down with the condition – the aim of the service is to show sufferers that life can go on with the right help.

A similar service was first launched by Andover Mind in 2009 with help from Hampshire County Council and health bosses but after it proved such a success, it has been rolled out across the county, open to anyone with dementia, their carers, family and friends.

The service, which will also cover Romsey, provides a constant point of contact, help to identify clubs and activities to go to, advice on benefits and support on how to plan for the future.

The launch will also mark the start of the dementia friendly communities project, which aims to create communities that are supportive of people with the condition and empower sufferers to live well and independently for as long as possible.

Sharon Parkes, Eastleigh’s dementia adviser, said: “This service is desperately needed not only for the sufferers, but for their carers too, without whom these people would not be able to stay in their homes.

“It can be a huge upheaval when people get the awful news that they have dementia and we are there to pick them up and help them through their journey.

“We are trying to show people that they can live their life still – it is not suddenly the end of everything – and to help enable people to carry on their hobbies and interests makes this a brilliant job.”

The launch starts at 1.45pm tomorrow, at the Wells Place Centre, in Eastleigh, and finishes at 4pm.

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