Project for families affected by dementia

Dementia patients need care and time
Dementia patients need care and time

A new project is being set up specifically to support families of people in south Cumbria that are experiencing dementia.

The project, the first of its kind in the country, is being set up with Dignity in Dementia and looks to help families that have family members with dementia and what can be done to keep them safe.

The project is being supported by the Police and Crime Commissioner, Richard Rhodes.

He said: “Living with a family member with dementia can be incredibly difficult. This new project is about working with families so that they are supported to keep their family member with dementia safe and what needs to be done on a daily basis.

“All too often I hear families of people who have dementia say that they feel unsupported. Therefore, I would urge families and friends who are worried about the safety of a person with dementia who lives in the South Lakes area to come forward and approach the project team. The number to call is 07771 682378.”

Inspector Paul Latham from Kendal Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “This is an important issue that I hope will go a long way to support all those concerned.

“This provides an opportunity for police officers to better understand the difficulties effecting those with dementia and their families.

“This project will give officers the chance to offer support to those they encounter.”

Diane Smillie from Dignity in Dementia said: “We are very excited to work with Cumbria Constabulary on this pilot project and hope that by empowering family carers to understand what may trigger a particular behaviour, we will help develop their confidence to improve the wellbeing and dignity of the person they care for.”

A daughter whose father has dementia that has experienced the support in South Cumbria said: “When Dignity in Dementia came to our house to talk about my dad, we were all struggling to respond as his Alzheimer’s had moved on to the next stage and we were unable to respond to his increasingly frustrated behaviour.

“Dignity in Dementia helped us understand his world and why he thinks and behaves the way he does.

“We now use distraction strategies. He is happier and we are happier.”