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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > Dementia awareness week in north Cumbria's hospitals

Dementia awareness week in north Cumbria's hospitals

Posted on Monday 20th May 2013

Caron Nicholson (Psychiatric Liaison Nurse), Louise Dias (Dementia Support Volunteer), Dr Jim George (Elderly Care Consultant),Crea Simpson (Matron),Adele Mitchell (Physiotherapist),Louise Wisdom (Dementia Support Worker) & Judith Reay (Dementia Adviser)

The information point run by Alzheimer’s Society in the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle will be providing extra advice sessions during Dementia Awareness Week which runs from Sunday 19 May until Saturday 25 May 2013.

The initiative between North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust and The Alzheimer’s Society offers patients and visitors to the Cumberland Infirmary the opportunity to access advice and information if they are concerned about their memory or a friend or relative’s memory.

The Information Point is permanently on display in the Atrium area of the Infirmary with information leaflets available to take home and a representative from The Alzheimer’s Society is available to answer any questions or discuss any concerns every Tuesday afternoon between 2pm and 4pm. During Dementia Awareness Week, which aims to get people thinking and talking about dementia, a representative from the Society will be available as follows:



Monday 20 May

6.00pm – 8.00pm

Tuesday 21 May

2.00pm – 4.00pm

Wednesday 22 May

2.00pm – 4.00pm

Thursday 23 May

6.00pm – 8.00pm

Friday 24 May

2.00pm – 4.00pm

There will also be an information point at West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven all week with Dementia advisors available to have a chat with.

The theme of Dementia Awareness Week 2013 is ‘Worrying changes nothing, talking changes everything’. Alzheimer’s Society wants to bring dementia out of the shadows, get people talking about it and help local communities feel better prepared to face it.

As the population ages, we all face the risk of one day developing dementia. In Cumbria, there were estimated to be 4,603 people with dementia living in the community and 2,327 living in residential care, with only around 50% of those in receipt of a formal diagnosis. With this number set to rise to 10,040 by 2021, it is important that public awareness is raised.

Louise Wisdom from Alzheimer’s Society said: “The week is an opportunity to increase understanding about dementia, address misconceptions and ensure people receive the support they need to live well with the condition.

“Having a conversation about dementia can sometimes be difficult, but often talking can change things for the better. From speaking to friends and family, to your GP, or getting support from Alzheimer’s Society – talking can be an important first step in accessing support that’s right for you. The extra advice sessions in the hospital are a great opportunity to talk to us and to learn more about dementia.”

The hospital trust is working hard to improve the care of people with dementia who are in hospital and is currently implementing The Butterfly Scheme across both the Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital, starting with elderly care wards. The scheme aims to improve patient safety and well-being by teaching staff to offer a positive and appropriate response to people with memory impairment and allow patients with dementia, confusion or forgetfulness to request that response via a discreet butterfly symbol on their notes.

Alzheimer’s Society has also recently introduced a new Dementia Adviser service to support the process of diagnosis and to provide information and guidance during and following diagnosis. Each person with dementia or a person seeking a diagnosis of dementia referred to the service is given a named Dementia Adviser. The named contact remains a contact point for the person to give the best information at each stage of a person’s life with dementia. People can also self-refer to the Dementia Adviser service if they wish. Judith Reay, who started in her role as Dementia Adviser in Carlisle in March, says: “The Dementia Adviser service aims to give people the information they need to make the right decisions. We also tell people about the services available in their area which can support people with dementia and their families.”

Dr Jim George, Elderly Care Consultant at the Cumberland Infirmary, said: “Dementia is an illness which is emerging from the shadows. Until recent years, dementia had the same status as cancer thirty years ago – rarely talked about and feared. Now we are beginning to realise that dementia is potentially a treatable medical condition and there is much that can be done to help.”

Alzheimer’s Society Carlisle can be contacted on 01228 819299