Regional dementia projects supported by NHS Ageing Well funding

Several new projects aiming to improve dementia care will be supported as part of £1 million NHS Ageing Well funding from BNSSG Healthier Together.

Bristol Health Partners’ Health Integration Teams (HITs) work on healthy ageing projects across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG). We are delighted that several new projects aiming to improve dementia care will be supported as part of £1 million NHS Ageing Well funding from BNSSG Healthier Together.

Dementia is a growing challenge. It is estimated that 850,000 people in the UK live with a dementia, and that one in three people will care for someone with a dementia in their lifetime.

The Ageing Well programme aims to improve the quality of life for older people, so that everyone in Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire can stay well as they get older. This includes supporting the population to stay healthy and independent in the community, and at home for as long as possible.

To do this, pilots running for 12 months will address gaps in support: increasing urgent community response services, planning for people’s future health and care needs, and enhancing healthcare across all care home beds.

Funding secured by our Dementia HIT will enable organisations we work with to deliver dementia projects in the region in four areas:

  • supporting people with dementia in care homes
  • supporting people from ethnic minority backgrounds with dementia, and their carers
  • running dementia meeting centres in communities across the region
  • working with people with lived experience to train health and social care staff, and informal carers, in improving understanding of dementia.

Alive, a local charity dedicated to improving the quality of life of older people and their carers, is one of the organisations working on these projects. Funding has helped them open their Dementia Meeting Centres in North Somerset and Bristol and they are about to open a new centre in South Gloucestershire in Bradley Stoke. The centres are run with the help of volunteers and are a welcoming community space where people can take part in social and creative activities, receive advice and support and enjoy a meal.

Mag’s father has dementia, her mother is his main carer and together they attend their local meeting centre. She says:

“The group has been fantastic for my dad who has a big smile on his face every time I pick him up but I didn’t expect what’s it’s done for my mum. The group is her ‘golden’ moment of the week. She’s able to talk to others in the same boat without the feeling of guilt that can be there when talking to non-carers or family.”

Find out more about what the Dementia HIT works on.

Image credit: Centre for Ageing Better