There are over 12,000 people living with dementia in Suffolk – a figure that is only expected to rise in the coming years, as Suffolk welcomes more elderly into the county. With this in mind, Suffolk Healthcare has an extensive range of dementia services in place to help those living with the disease.
Age Space has compiled all of the Suffolk dementia services that are available into one place for you, here.
We also have a guide on Dementia Friendly Initiatives in Suffolk.
NHS Services for People with Dementia in Suffolk
Age Space has broken down how NHS and healthcare services are operated on the Elderly Care in Suffolk page. Some dementia support services are Suffolk-wide, while others are divided up to cover East or West Suffolk.
Alzheimer's Society Dementia Connect
The Dementia Connect service provides one-to-one support to people with dementia, carers and family members. The service is tailored to meet your personal circumstances and needs. It can provide you with information to help you understand more about dementia as well as practical and emotional support to live well with dementia.
Their team of local Dementia Advisors can provide advice, information and support to anybody affected by dementia, including if you are undergoing assessment or worried about your memory. Dementia Advisors can also make referrals to Suffolk Family Carers, who could undertake a Carers Assessment. This focuses on the carer, how it might affect you, and how it might prevent you doing the things you want to, along with what outcomes you might like to achieve. Suffolk Family Carers specialist advisors can also help with setting up a Family Carers Emergency Care Plan.
Support Line is available Monday to Wednesday, 9:00am – 8:00pm; Thursday to Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm; Weekends: 10:00am – 4:00pm.
The Herbert Protocol
The ‘Herbert Protocol‘ is a form to fill out with information about the person your care for that has dementia. People with dementia are prone to wandering off and so having a form you can give to the police or neighbours on hand can be very useful.
Follow the link above for more information on the Herbert Protocol or visit the Suffolk County Council’s page on it to download the form.
Dementia and Intensive Support Team (DIST)
DISTE is a specialist dementia service in east Suffolk. The service works with people with dementia (or suspected dementia) and their families in the event of a dementia related crisis, to avoid acute hospital admission. Such a crisis may involve either a recent change in behaviour that is cause for concern, or carers needing more support to manage their caring role to prevent care breakdown. Either situation may otherwise result in an unnecessary hospital admission.
Use the contact details or visit the website below for more details.
Flexible Dementia Service (FDS)
The FDS is a service operated by Home Support Matters that enables people with dementia in a crisis or rapidly deteriorating situation to remain living independently at home. They focus on reablement, helping those with dementia to deal with and avoid social isolation, mental health deterioration, financial abuse and more.
The FDS operates in close association to assessment teams, the NHS and Suffolk County Council.
Community Memory Assessment Service (CMAS)
The Community Memory Assessment Service is available to adults in the East Suffolk area. It is a diagnostic service with a primary aim of confirming or excluding a diagnosis of dementia. The team may diagnose Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).
The Community Memory Assessment service offers help with the following: Holistic memory assessment, Signposting to other support services, Diagnosis or non-diagnosis of dementia, Some post diagnostic psychosocial interventions.
To access the service, somebody would need to have had concerns about their memory for six months. They can then be referred by a GP. This is to allow for blood tests to treat any reversible causes of your memory concerns first.
Visit the NHS’ Page on the East Suffolk Community Memory Assessment Service for more details.
Memory Access Team
Assessments are completed through the Memory Access Team at West Suffolk Hospital. Their goal is to provide a diagnosis of dementia as quickly as possible so that health and care decisions can be made in as much time as possible. Referrals are only made through a GP.
- Telephone: 0300 123 1334
Reminiscence Interactive Therapy Activities (RITA)
As 1 in 4 patients in West Suffolk Hospital have some form of dementia, the hospital has activities to help jog memories and help improve patients’ time in the hospital with archived photos, music and videos to explore.
You can get one of these packs from West Suffolk Hospital which includes a carers badge, information about support available, parking and refreshment concessions and more.
West Suffolk Hospital also provides an overview of NHS Dementia Services in West Suffolk with relevant contact details.
Local Charities Supporting People with Dementia in Suffolk
Promoted by both major Suffolk Hospitals, John’s Campaign supports carers of those with dementia, helping them to stay with the person they care for while they’re in hospital.
The Alzheimer’s Society operates a one-to-one support service for people with dementia, their carers and their families. This service can be provided differently based on personal circumstance to include by phone, email, or face-to-face at their hub in Bury St Edmunds.