Supporting Dementia Action Week 2021
Date: 17 May 2021
At Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust we are proud to support Dementia Action Week 2021, a national event led by the Alzheimer’s Society that sees the public coming together to take action to improve the lives of people affected by dementia.
34.5 million of us know someone living with dementia in the UK. One in three of us born in the UK today will go on to develop dementia in our lifetime – there will be one million people living with dementia by 2025.
Our Specialist Dementia Service (SDS) in Haringey which is part of the Haringey Older People’s Services provides support to service users with moderate-severe dementia and their carers. The team, which is made of three part-time Specialist Dementia Practitioners, two Occupational Therapists and a Mental Health Nurse, aims to assess and understand what is happening in the situation and then works to develop ways of managing it. Typically, there are multiple factors to consider in assessing the situation including the role of physical health changes, the progression of the dementia, the individual’s personality and life experience, relationship patterns within the family as well as social, cultural and environmental factors. Family carers may have been coping with changes in the behaviour of the person with dementia for many years and may be experiencing high levels of stress. They may also have their own health problems to manage or commitments such as work which can leave them feeling stretched beyond what is possible.
The interventions offered by the SDS not only include very practical steps such as Care Act Assessments in order to secure a care package and a day centre placement or respite to help stabilise the situation but they usually also address the emotional and psychological needs of the parties involved e.g. helping families change their ways of responding or thinking through difficult decisions about the person’s best interests. The needs of the person with dementia may be very complex, sometimes requiring the careful trial of medications and often making intense demands on their families and carers. Some of our interventions are brief but others take place over many months, helping to manage an evolving situation which may include major changes such as the transition to residential care.
Our Barnet Older People’s Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) offers a service to people over 65 who present with mental health problems and who are residents in the London Borough of Barnet. The team also accepts referrals for younger people if a neurological assessment identifies a cognitive impairment or dementia.
Our Dementia Advisors offer support, advice and information to all those affected by a diagnosis of dementia.
Residents in Enfield can access Enfield Older People Community Mental Health Team (Enfield OPCMHT). This is a secondary care service that provides services directly to people with mental health problems such as dementia and signposts to other local services which are available as required.
At Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust we are proud to support Dementia Action Week 2021, a national event led by the Alzheimer’s Society.