For the families themselves the stress of getting to that point can be hard to unravel, relationships are frayed, carers under pressure and finding it hard to cope from day to day and emotions and stress are running high.
The team here at Alzheimers Northland know it doesn’t have to be this way, we know it is possible, with the right support, to live well with dementia. An early diagnosis means families can access one on one support, information, education, respite and day programmes from Alzheimers Northland. They can also get help being assessed for care support packages. This kind of early intervention helps families onto a more positive pathway with their dementia journey.
In a ground-breaking initiative, we have teamed up with Northland DHB to try to tackle the issue head on. Along with Dr Alan Davis, Clinical Director for Health of Old People from Northland DHB, I went on a tour of Northland in a unique roadshow taking their expertise to medical practitioners.
The roadshow events focussed on the benefits of not only an early diagnosis but the ongoing support services available from Alzheimers Northland and offered updates on the long established Dementia Pathway.
We presented to over 140 GPs, Practice Nurses and Health Professionals, on one occasion, we received a referral the next day for a woman who was 63 years old and looking to go into permanent care. With our help and by liaising with other services, she is still living safely in her own home, the best place to be.
As a result of the roadshow, the number referrals to Alzheimers Northland increased immediately meaning more families will benefit from our services sooner. What a great success! We know that the number of people with dementia in New Zealand is growing rapidly and that services are going to have to keep up. That’s why it’s crucial that our services are able to grow. We don’t want Kiwi families to reach crisis point. We want them to be able to access the support that they need and deserve to be able to live well with dementia.
General Manager – Alzheimers Northland
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