Alzheimer Scotland Lewis and Harris Services refurbished Dementia Resource Centre was officially opened at 18 Bells Road recently by HR Lord Lieutenant of the Western Isles, Sandy Matheson (OBE).
The Dementia Resource Centre has a daily drop-in Monday to Friday from 9am-1pm with a weekly Dementia café on a Tuesday from 10am-12pm for people with Dementia and their carers, partners, family and friends. The project was facilitated with funding from the Western Isles Change fund.
There is also a monthly carer support group for carers, partners, family and friends of people with dementia to come share experiences in a confidential setting as well as guest speakers to offer advice and practical support on areas such as Power of attorney, coping strategies and equipment and advice from groups such as Faire etc.
The first meeting took place on May 31st and subsequent meetings are planned for the last Friday of every month (12pm-2pm) at the Dementia Resource Centre. Tea, coffee and a light lunch is provided.
Speaking at the opening of the dementia resource centre, Sandy Matheson said: “Alzheimer Scotland has empowered everyone to get things done in a most magnificent way. The splendid range of supportive, advisory and ambassadorial activity supply, is an example, I believe, in this community which is second to none and that what the organisation did was to take dementia “out of the shadows of stigma and social ignorance”.
Alzheimer Scotland Chief Executive, Henry Simmons also attended the opening ceremony and stated Alzheimer Scotland “was working closely with the Scottish Government to ensure early diagnosis and intervention to enable people to live well with dementia from diagnosis to end of life. Alzheimer Scotland and the Scottish Government were absolutely committed to this aim and to ensuring people with dementia, their families and carers did not go through it on their own.”
Alzheimer Scotland values the feedback from carers of people who access the service provided which include the Solas Day Centre and the Dementia Specific Home support Services.
Hugh stated that whilst caring for his late wife Chirsty: “Fortunately my health held up and I was able to care for her at home. But I would not have been able to do that without the support from Alzheimer Scotland and their day centre,” Hugh stated.
He commended the development of the Dementia Resource centre stating: “It would give carers easy access to information and the chance to meet up and share experiences which was absolutely invaluable”.
Alzheimer Scotland offers dementia specific support services and access to dementia specific information. As well as the Solas day centre, home support and carer support the organisation has provided funding for an Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultant, Anne Hutchinson who is currently in post to work closely with other NHS staff to improve understanding and awareness of dementia.
Working together, they are bringing about real improvements and enhancing the knowledge and skills of others in caring for people with dementia with significant improvement noted in certain areas in the acute setting. This has also been enhanced with the Dementia Champion programme.
Alzheimer Scotland provide a free 24 hour, Dementia Helpline for people with dementia, those who care for them and anyone with a concern or query regarding dementia.(0808 808 3000).
Recently Alzheimer Scotland secured funding from the Western Isles change fund to deliver post diagnostic support by employing a Dementia Link Worker, Ann Mackenzie. Ann supports people with a diagnosis of dementia from 1st April 2013.