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New handbook for carers of people with dementia

A new guide for those who care for people with Dementia is being launched in Reading today. The Dementia Handbook for Carers contains contact information, coping strategies, legal advice, and medical information.

The Living Well with Dementia event is being held this afternoon between 3pm and 7.30pm

Berkshire Healthcare and the University of Reading have teamed up to produce the new guide to support people who care for those with dementia.

There are currently 800,000 people with dementia in the UK. By 2021 there will be more than a million people with the disease. In the west of Berkshire alone there are more than 5,000 people with dementia and this is due to rise to almost 9,500 by 2030, an increase of more than 80 per cent. When you take into account family carers there are thousands more people who will be affected dementia.

The project was funded by the Berkshire West Confederation of Clinical Commissioning Groups as part of their response to the Prime Minister's Dementia Challenge.

"Carers repeatedly tell us they feel overwhelmed by the information out there and we just want to ensure that they have information from a trusted source, in a format written by them, not professionals. We hope this will stop them feeling they are alone in the wilderness. Carers have such a vital role and we wanted to give them the support they deserve.

"At Berkshire Healthcare we believe in working together with people to deliver innovative solutions. By working with the carers themselves we are confident this guide should give them what they need."

– Dr Luke Solomons, Berkshire Healthcare consultant psychiatrist

"I am passionate about better dementia awareness and care. I would say to anyone in a similar situation to get help before you think you need it and this guide will give them all the information they need to make sure they get that help."

– Carol Munt, carer involved in project

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Charity to double funding in search for dementia cure

It's a condition that blights the lives of millions across the UK. Dementia is a disease which leaves sufferers often unable to recognise loved ones, or even where they are.

Today a leading dementia charity announced it's doubling its funding for research, including ground-breaking work at universities in the south-east.

Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to Dr Karen Marshall of the University of Sussex, Joy Reilly and Sam Hart - both of whose mothers suffer from the disease.

  1. Sarah Saunders @SSaundersITV

Releasing memories with music for dementia patients

The Prime Minister has called the issue of dementia a national crisis and is promising a doubling of the budget to spend on research into the condition.

For Dementia Awareness Week, Kent County Council has been running sessions to educate people about the condition and about projects in the county to help.

Sarah Saunders spoke to care home manager Terry Mullen and KCC Director for Older People, Anne Tidmarsh.

New dementia-friendly wards to open

New dementia-friendly wards will open at the Royal Berkshire Hospital Credit: ITV Meridian

The Royal Berkshire Hospital will open their new dementia friendly wards later today, thanks to funding from the department of health.

New dementia-friendly wards will open at the Royal Berkshire Hospital Credit: ITV Meridian

The refurbishment includes reminiscence rooms which are decorated in old newspaper covers, colour coded wards as well as a cinema room to help patients relax.

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  1. Kate Bunkall

Call for people to stop driving when dementia starts

The families of people with dementia are being urged to encourage their loved ones to give up driving, because of the potential dangers including the threat to their own lives, and those of others on the roads.

Alzheimer's Disease affects 800,000 people in this country, and before diagnosis and even after - some sufferers are still driving when they should not be behind the wheel.

A survey by a road safety charity has found a decline in the cognitive abilities of older motorists was the biggest worry for more than half of those questioned.

When David Orr from South Oxfordshire was diagnosed with Alzheimers, his family convinced him to stop driving. He has said that although it was a hard conversation to have, he is glad his relatives were honest with him. He told his story to our reporter Kate Bunkall.

New centre offers hope for dementia sufferers in the Thames Valley

Dementia has been described by experts as a "ticking time bomb" affecting thousands of people in our region.

But now a new research centre that aims to improve the detection and prevention of the disease has opened at the University of Reading.

The centre will run clinical trials in the hope of finding new treatments, as Mel Bloor reports.

Interviewees: Dr Laurie Butler - Head of the University of Reading's School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, Les Eggleton whose wife suffers from Dementia and Dr Paul Loughlin, Consultant Psychiatrist in Old Age.

Shortage of specialist dementia care on Isle of Sheppey

Relatives of people with dementia on the Isle of Sheppey say there is a desperate shortage of specialist help. There is not a single dementia nurse for a population of 35,000, so patients have to go to the mainland for treatment in unfamiliar surroundings that many find confusing and stressful.

It is a serious situation, but it has triggered fresh thinking about the condition that will affect 1 in 20 of us. Nashreen Issa reports.

Foster an adult with dementia

Could you open up your home and make a real difference to the life of someone living with dementia?

Kent County Council’s Shared Lives service provides short breaks, day care and longer term support in the host family’s own home which can help vulnerable adults avoid residential care homes.

People with dementia really benefit from still being able to live in a family home and the scheme allows them to develop new relationships and be part of the community. Hosts are paid and KCC needs more people to come forward and take on this rewarding role.

This is a great opportunity for someone who perhaps has a background in caring, to build a new career making a real difference to people’s lives. As people live longer, dementia is a growing challenge. We in Kent are determined to reduce stigma and improve understanding of the condition. Shared Lives is a really important scheme because it gives people living with dementia all the support they need to stay independent and lead fulfilling lives in the community.”

– Graham Gibbens, Kent County Council

To find out more about becoming a Shared Lives host, or to find out more about how to use the service, visit www.kent.gov.uk/sharedlives or call 01233 652401.

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