The first of a new network of advice and information centres for people with dementia in Surrey has opened its doors.
It was launched at Manor Farm Centre in Egham for Older People* to mark Dementia Awareness Week and is the first of 11 wellbeing centres planned over the next four years to provide information and support for people with dementia and carers.
The launch came days before Defence Secretary Philip Hammond was due to officially open a new day care facility in Chertsey for people with dementia called The Orchard Centre**.
Both are part of Surrey County Council’s plans to team up with other organisations in the county’s 11 borough and districts, including councils and community groups, to give people with dementia better support and the opportunity to stay in their own homes.
This month Surrey leader David Hodge announced the county council is investing £10m in projects that help older and disabled people and those with mental health problems, including dementia sufferers, stay independent.
Michael Gosling, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “People with dementia tell us they want to stay living in their communities in familiar surroundings and by working as one team councils, voluntary groups and the NHS are doing all they can to help them stay independent.
“Getting an early diagnosis of dementia is particularly important because knowing about the condition helps people gain control and allows them and their families to seek the services they need to plan for the future.”
It is estimated that around 570,000 people in the UK have dementia.
* The facility based in Runneymede Borough Council premises provides information and support for people with early stage dementia and help and respite for carers. It is open from 9am to 5pm on week days.
** On Friday 25 May. It was created as a result of a partnership between the county council, Runnymede Borough Council and the Alzheimer’s Society and offers support for up to 20 people with dementia a day.