Extra funding to help people with dementia stay at home

Sheffield Council is investing more money into community projects to help people with dementia
Sheffield Council is investing more money into community projects to help people with dementia

Sheffield people with dementia will get more support in the community so they can live at home longer.

More than £2.5 million will be invested in dementia projects over the next four years by Sheffield Council as community projects are seen as “essential therapeutic services”.

There are around 7,000 people with dementia, of which 4,000 have a formal diagnosis, living in Sheffield.

The number is expected to rise to over 7,300 by 2020 and 9,300 by 2030, with the biggest increase in people aged 85 and over.

It varies significantly by age group, from as low as one per cent in females aged 65-69 to almost one in three for females aged 90 and over.

Extra money will be given to community services after people with dementia told the council it would help them and their families to live at home for a long as possible.

In a report, Nicola Shearstone, head of commissioning for prevention and early help says:

“The existing contracts the council has for community day care, in-home support and dementia cafes have not been updated for some time. This gives us an opportunity to update, ensuring they take into account recent consultation and feedback.

“Local activities are seen as essential therapeutic services and people want to be able to continue doing what they’ve always done as well as starting new things  

“A variety of activities will help keep people safe and well and in their own homes for as long as possible. This helps them maintain their social networks and helps them keep doing what they’ve always done, as well as starting new things, to reduce loneliness and isolation, and improve mental wellbeing.

“Activities and services across the city will help people help themselves. This proposal aims to make the city more dementia friendly and reduce the stigma around dementia.”

Over the next three years, a number of projects will receive funding. Four existing dementia cafes, currently run by the Alzheimer’s Society, will get  £45,000.

Each People Keeping Well Partnerships, which provide local information, advice and guidance as well as dementia friendly activities, will be allocated £894,000.

A specialist advice service for professionals to ensure care is coordinated and people can live well at home will be commissioned for £360,000. The number of places at day activities will be increased with £558,000.

A grant of £195,000 will be given to Sheffield Dementia Action Alliance to work with organisations to increase knowledge of dementia and train staff to be aware.

Sheffield Dementia Involvement Group will get a £6,000 grant to run events. And there will  be a one-off £100,000 fund to encourage local organisations to do activities around dementia.

The report adds: “Together, these provide a comprehensive and complimentary selection of activities and services across the city and follows our vision of keeping people safe and well in their own homes for as long as possible.

“We are investing in the voluntary, community and faith sector and also upskilling their staff and volunteers to become dementia friendly. Enabling communities to become more dementia friendly makes them more inclusive and safer to all residents, especially those who are more vulnerable.”