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Dementia services and organisations in Dorset

20th September 2017

The prospect of living with or caring for someone with dementia can be frightening and lonely.  There is help available across Dorset, and more services and organisations are starting up all the time.

There are 2 main charities providing help and support for those living with dementia and their families:  www.alzheimers.org.uk    – for information about help in Dorset email dorset@alzheimers.org.uk;

www.dementiauk.org is the second charity providing direct support through its Admiral Nurses.  The Alzheimer’s Research Society does what it says on the tin so will most likely be of less use to you although they have useful information on their website about diagnosis and treatments.


Dementia Connect – this is a brilliant resource from Alzheimer’s Society – a very comprehensive directory of services and initiatives by location;  here you can search for advice and support services, information points, dementia cafes and other activities anywhere in Dorset.

dementia uk

Who are Admiral Nurses?

Admiral Nurses are highly trained to provide the specialist dementia support that families need provided by Dementia UK. They provide one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions. Their expertise and experience help families to live more positively with dementia today, and to face the challenges of tomorrow with more confidence and less fear.

Most Admiral Nurses work in the community for the NHS, and others work in care homes, hospitals and hospices. There are Admiral Nurses across the country and the organisation which trains them, Dementia UK, is constantly increasing the number of Admiral Nurse services. As of this September, there will be an Admiral Nurse in the Purbeck area.

If you have any questions about whether you can get a referral to an Admiral Nurse in your area, or if you need support and there is no suitable service close to you, please contact 0800 888 6678 or email helpline@dementiauk.org where Dementia UK’s team of Admiral Nurses can give you one-to-one support, practical solutions and expert guidance.

Admiral Nurses got their name from the family of Joseph Levy CBE BEM, who founded Dementia UK. Joseph had vascular dementia and was known affectionately as ‘Admiral Joe’ because of his love of sailing.  For more information about Admiral Nurses visit:  www.dementiauk.org.


Dorset’s Memory Gateway

Dorset has an action plan called Living Well with Dementia. As part of the plan, the Dorset Dementia Partnership runs the Memory Gateway Service. This is used by GPs to help diagnose and support people with dementia.

The Dorset Dementia Partnership is made up of people who represent different organisations across health and social care, including local authorities and employees of the fire brigade and the police, as well as people living with dementia and their carers.

Anyone concerned about their memory is encouraged to talk to their GP or call the Dorset Memory Support and Advisory Service on 0300 123 1916 to speak to a trained advisor from the Alzheimer’s Society or email dorset@alzheimers.org.uk.


Is your town dementia friendly?

MANY towns in Dorset are actively improving their facilities and support services for people living with dementia, and there are also a range of entertainments and activities designed to suit dementia sufferers.  Dementia Friendly Communities is an Alzheimers Society initiative to raise awareness in local areas and to support people living with dementia.  The Dorset towns that are working towards (or have achieved) Dementia-Friendly status include Wareham, Blandford, Bridport and Swanage.

The Wareham project was initiated by members of the town’s Lions Club who called a public meeting to explore the level of support. There was so much enthusiasm and support that a steering group was set up and Wareham and District Dementia Friendly Community was launched in early summer 2017.  The primary aims of the Wareham (and other) groups are to raise public awareness of dementia and issues relating to the condition, and to provide support for carers.

Specific projects include working with Alzheimers Society and Dorset Police to identify safe havens where the police (not the public) could take someone found wandering and at risk. Contacts are being made for a ‘use my loo’ scheme which envisages local businesses giving people living with dementia access to their toilets if needed.


Dementia friendly activities

Memory Cafes:There are Memory Cafes across Dorset. They provide an opportunity for people with dementia, families and carers to meet with others, ask questions of professionals and learn from the experiences of others.

There are also two Mindful Cafes, at Gillingham and Stalbridge. Mindful is a registered charity created to support local projects for older people (over 65) with mental health problems and their carers, and people of any age who have memory loss or dementia.

For more information, contact details etc, for cafes close to you, search the Dementia Connect  directory, or visit My Life My Care .

Films: The cinema at Poole’s Lighthouse Centre for the Arts and the Rex Cinema at Wareham both have regular dementia friendly film screenings, at times that are suitable for the person with dementia and their carers. The films – generally classic musicals or comedies – are carefully chosen and refreshments are provided.

Music: The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra is officially a dementia friendly organisation, offering events including teatime concerts at the Lighthouse and through its Music for a While programme taking music into care homes and hospitals, including from this September, Dorset County Hospital at Dorchester.

For details of tea dances and the Music for a While programme visit www.bsolive.com


Walks: The Alzheimer’s Society runs Memory Walks. These are fund-raising social activities, open to all ages and abilities – including dementia sufferers – and dogs are welcome too. The aim of these sponsored walks is for families, friends and sufferers to unite to raise money to defeat dementia. Each walk will take a different route – city streets or parks, woodlands or open countryside.  This year the Alzheimer’s Society says that 110,000 people will take part in a Memory Walk, and help to raise more than £9 million. For more information, to find your nearest walk, or to organise your own Memory Walk, visit www.memorywalk.org.uk

Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (DAONB) has a programme of outdoor activities for older people across the county, from dementia friendly walks, to gardening projects, local history and art projects.  Check them out here.

If you know of useful projects or initiatives, then do please let us know – info@agespace.org.  We will update these pages on a regular basis.

We have a whole section dedicated to Dementia and  Alzheimer’s with information from diagnosis to treatments as well as health and well being guidance.

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