Who’s who in Dementia

Health and social care professionals can offer information, advice, care and treatment to people with dementia and their carers.

Healthwatch Lancashire is a public voice on health and social care in the county, its role is to listen patients and has the power to significantly influence change within the health and social care system. Contact Healthwatch if you want to have your say.

Contact by telephone on 01524 239100 or by email info@healthwatchlancashire.co.uk

Residents of Blackburn with Darwen are served by Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen.

Contact by telephone on 01254 504985 or by email info@healthwatchbwd.co.uk

GP/Doctor

Your GP is the person responsible for your overall health and wellbeing. The GP is the first point of contact if you are worried about your memory or that of a loved one. The GP can undertake some tests and refer you to a specialist service for further investigations. If you do not have a GP or know their number click here.

Nurse  There are a variety of different nurses who can support people with Dementia;

  • Practice Nurses – These work within the GP surgery and can carry out a range of activities such as flu jabs and check-ups. They provide physical nursing activities such as changing dressings.
  • Community Mental Health Nurses – also known as Community Psychiatric Nurses (CPNs). They provide treatment, care and support for people with mental health problems and dementia. They carry out assessments of people at home and can advise people with dementia and their carers on ways of coping, and of improving their health and quality of life.
  • District Nurses – These nurses are part of the Integrated Community Teams and can offer treatment for acute health problems and support in managing long term conditions.
  • Advanced Nurse Practitioners – The Nurses have additional training and are linked with the Virtual Ward. They can visit you in your own home, provide a health assessment and prescribe certain medications.

Your GP will refer you to these nurses if necessary.

Consultants

Consultants are doctors who have had extensive training and experience in a particular area of specialty. Consultants are able to prescribe drugs to help slow down the Dementia. The consultants that you may see with memory problems are;

  • neurologists – specialists in disorders of the brain and nervous system
  • geriatricians – specialists in the physical illnesses and disabilities of old age and the care of older people
  • psychiatrists – diagnose and treat a wide range of mental health problems
  • old age psychiatrists – psychiatrists who have had further training in the mental health problems of older people.

Your GP will refer you to these consultants if necessary.

Clinical Psychologists

Clinical psychologists assess memory, learning abilities and other skills, and offer support. They often work with consultants in memory clinics, as part of a team.

Physiotherapists

Many people with dementia need some support to stay physically mobile or active. Physiotherapists can advise on exercise for people at all stages of dementia. They can also advise carers on safe ways of helping someone to move. Your GP can refer you to Physio.

Speech and Language Therapists

Speech and language therapists can advise someone with dementia and their carer on ways of communicating more effectively, and on relieving any swallowing difficulties. Your GP can refer you to the service.

See the Royal College of Speech and Language therapy poster on communication and dementia.

Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapists can advise on adaptations and equipment for the home, and on ways of maintaining independence for as long as possible. Some Occupational Therapists work for the health service and some for social services. Contact your local GP or contact Social Services on 0845 053 0009.

Social Worker

Social Workers may be involved in assessing a person’s needs for services and in planning, co-ordinating and advising on services. They can also offer support if you need to talk things through. Social workers may also be referred to as ‘care managers’. Part of the assessment will include looking at financial matters.Social Workers can help you to access many other services provided by Lancashire County Council such as equipment and adaptations, meals, short breaks, home care, day care and care in a care home. Social Services can be contacted on 0300 123 670.

Dementia Adviser

A Dementia Adviser will provide information and signpost you to a range of services, they are a named contact for the whole journey for both the person with Dementia and their family and carers. They will listen and answer questions and then provide a tailored information pack. A Dementia Adviser can be contacted through the Memory Assessment Service on 01282 657832 or 01282 657833.

Dementia Support Worker

The East Lancashire Dementia Support Worker provides practical and emotional support to carers of people with dementia, helping them to maintain their independence, improving their sense of well-being and putting them in more control of their lives. The support worker arranges numerous Peer Support Opportunities such as Carers Support Groups, Carers training courses and Dementia Cafes. You can contact them on 01282 421233.

Others

Problems with hearing, teeth, speech or sight can negatively impact the well-being of someone with dementia and may increase their levels of confusion or distress. The person may be unable to tell others that they are in discomfort, so it is important to make sure these areas are checked regularly.

  • Audiologists check for hearing problems and can fit a hearing aid
  • Dentists can help dental treatment may become more difficult as symptoms progress
  • Optometrists can help with sight problems, some will provide a home visit
  • Dieticians can provide advice and guidance about food, nutrition and issues such as a poor appetite, weight loss, weight gain, vitamins and food supplements
  • Continence advisers can advise on problems associated with continence (going to the toilet). They can also give information on useful equipment ranging from commodes to incontinence pads

Admiral Nurses

Admiral Nurses can provide support in the community for people with dementia and their carers and families by offering a central point of contact, providing information and advice and helping to gain skills which will enable you to live well with dementia. The service is provided to Legion Beneficiaries and their families, you can contact them on 01257 244698.

GS Social Care

GS Social Care Solutions are a family run, private social care organisation and we have been established for 10 years. They work with a number of people and their carers throughout East and Central Lancashire who live with Dementia and to reflect this have a dedicated, experienced staff team who have several years’ experience in supporting people living with the condition. All staff are matched to the people they support, with personality and common interests in mind at all times. They pride themselves on their excellent reputation which has been gained through persistence in creating tailor made, flexible support packages which meet individual needs. These can include assistance with personal care, budgeting, maintaining independent living skills and accessing community activities. They strongly believe in seeing the person behind the Dementia and working with people to continue achieving their ambitions and dreams.

For more information, visit their website at http://www.gs-socialcare.co.uk/dementia-support or contact one of their friendly and professional care coordinators who can also call out to discuss the type of support required: 01254 877755.

Care Home Liaison Service

The service aims to provide support for people with dementia or appear confused who are permanent residents within care home settings. They accept referrals via GP/ Care homes/ family members and via other professionals involved.

They assess, formulate and implement management plans for people with dementia who are presenting with behaviours that are challenging in nature and difficult to manage.

They aim to provide short intervention for people, reduce inappropriate use of anti-psychotic medications and prevent unnecessary placement moves.
Contact them on : 01254 226971