A PILOT project for a new dementia service in Lancaster has been given the go ahead.
The 12-month pilot project, which will offer 10 beds at Dolphinlee House in Patterdale Road at a cost of £417,110, aims to provide better support for dementia sufferers in the community.
Lancashire County Council said the project should support around 67 people people in the first 12 months, and will deliver savings of £326,000 in 2013/14 but with an additional cost of £178,000 in 2012/13.
The number of older people with dementia in north Lancashire is expected to rise by almost 50 per cent to 7,577 by 2025, which means, according to a report to county coun Mike Calvert, that there will be an “unprecedented demand on services”.
The report said: “It is therefore essential that services are developed that support people with dementia to remain living independently in the community for longer, prevent or delay admissions to long term care, prevent hospital admissions/re-admissions and support early discharge.”
The report noted that despite a range of care services such as residential and domiciliary rehabilitation which already exist in north Lancashire, staff within these services do not have the skills or knowledge to support people with dementia.
Dawn Butterfield, the county council’s head of commissioning for north Lancashire, said: “The new service at Dolphinlee aims to help older people with dementia to return home after a hospital stay.
“When older people with dementia suffer an illness or a fall and are admitted to hospital, their dementia can worsen.
“This can mean they are unable to return home and the only option available is long-term residential care.
“Now, as part of the pilot project, people will be supported at Dolphinlee for up to six weeks after being discharged from hospital.
“This will help them to recover and regain their confidence and daily living skills.
“At the same time, they will receive specialist help to find ways to manage the effects of their dementia, so they can return home safely, with support if needed.
“Similar schemes across the county have already proved very successful in helping older people with dementia to stay in their own homes for as long as possible, in keeping with their wishes.”
The project will be run by Lancashire County Commercial Group, the county council’s commercial arm, and is due to start within the next two months.