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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 27 January 2010

Insufficient care placing thousands of people with dementia in Merseyside at risk

A quarter of a million people with dementia are being let down by care and support that fails to meet their needs an Alzheimer’s Society according to a report released Tuesday, 25 January 2011. According to ‘Support. Stay. Save. Care and support of people with dementia in their own homes’, this substandard care will result in 50,000 people being forced into care homes early. For each avoidable month people with dementia spend in care, the state will face a bill of at least £70million. Tens of thousands more will be admitted to hospital unnecessarily.

In the North West and Lakes carers who said the person with dementia was not receiving sufficient care and support (47%) spoke of people being left bedridden, wearing unchanged incontinence pads and malnourished. More than half (53%) of carers were also being put at risk of stress, depression and other serious illnesses because they were being left to struggle unsupported.

Nationally, there is clear evidence home care staff want to be empowered with additional training and support to help them provide quality dementia care and 72% said they appreciate people with dementia have special needs. However only 10% said they think the care people with dementia living at home receive meets all their needs.

In the current environment of spending cuts, Alzheimer’s Society predicts the situation is set to get much worse. The charity is now calling on commissioners to think long term and invest in dementia services and training to keep more people out of hospitals and care homes and to save the NHS and councils from bankruptcy.

Helen Foster, Alzheimer’s Society North West Area Manager, said:- "It is an absolute travesty that so many people with dementia are being forced to struggle without the care and support they need. The consequences of this represent an unacceptable human and financial cost. Over 16,000* people with dementia live in the Merseyside community and many will need help with everyday tasks such as eating meals, washing or going to the toilet. This help not only maintains dignity but prevents serious health issues. While staying at home is not right for everyone we know many people want to remain in the familiar surroundings they are used to with family or loved ones. Only with the right support will this be possible."

Kevin Whately, Alzheimer’s Society ambassador and author of the report’s foreword, said:- "I know from caring for my mum just how much care and support people with dementia can need to help them live a quality life in their own home. We were fortunate that we had access to some excellent carers and the difference they made to my mum’s life was immeasurable. It pains me to think that there are so many people out there struggling alone. This is an unacceptable situation that we can't let continue."

Support. Stay. Save. Care and support of people with dementia in their own homes’, which is based on a national survey of 1,436 people with dementia and carers and 989 home care workers found:-

► 50% of people with dementia who live at home aren’t getting the care and support they need.

► 1 in 10 carers said poor care resulted in the person with dementia having an avoidable admission into hospital.

► 1 in 10 carers said poor care resulted in the person with dementia going into residential care earlier than expected.

► 52% of carers said they weren’t receiving enough care and support to help them fulfil their caring role. This has a negative impact on their health and the health of the person with dementia.

► 83% of carers say living at home is very important to the person with dementia.

► 44% of carers said the person with dementia was receiving enough care and support. Around half of these people believed this had a positive impact on symptoms of dementia and on carer health.

► Only 10% of home care workers think the care and support people with dementia receive in their own homes meets all their needs.

Do you agree with this? Email us your views and any information you have to our news room via:-

How to Age Healthily!

BY 2020 it is likely that over 50% of the UK will be over 50 and life expectancy of the population is continuing to increase.

At the next edition of SciBar in Liverpool Dr Kate Bennett, from Liverpool University, will discuss how ageing impacts on health and well-being, talk about healthy ageing and about the ways gender and marital status influences health as people age.

SciBar offers an informal environment to discuss thoughts and ideas and is regularly attended by 30 to 40 people.

Come along to SciBar on Tuesday, 1 February 2011, and find out more. As always the audience will be welcome to give their own opinions and ask questions. Remember there's no such thing as a silly question at SciBar!

SciBar is literally science in a bar, or in this case the fabulous Ship and Mitre pub. It is a regular event organised by The British Science Association. At each SciBar an expert from a different scientific field gives an introductory presentation on something fascinating or topical about their work, and then the floor is open to discussion, debate and questions, where the scientist will be on hand to contribute information. No questions are considered silly questions! There’s no need to be an expert, as SciBar is designed to be informal and is aimed at those with no prior knowledge - just an interest in science and the world around them.

When:- Tuesday, 1 February 2011, 7:30pm (and the first Tuesday of every month).

Where:- Ship & Mitre (upstairs function room), 113 Dale Street, Liverpool, L2 2JH

Cost:- Free admission


A PROTEST march of mothers, with their children and babies was held on Tuesday, 25 January 2011, against plans to close seven Surestart children’s centres and three satellite bases in Sefton. "If the plans went ahead, Southport would be left with only one centre for children. Sefton Council are considering the decommissioning of all phase 2 and 3 children’s centres across the borough. If approved, this will include seven Sure Start children’s centres and three satellite bases including Bishop David Shepherd, Hudson, Farnborough, Freshfield, Holy Rosary, King’s Meadow, Parenting 2000, The Grange, Thornton, Waterloo and Valewood." said Gemma Brannan. The council are to discuss the plans to close Sure Start centres at a meeting on Thursday, 27 January at 6.30pm. The protest also had a petition being signed as well as testimonials and a letter outlining the legal obligations the council has overlooked so far being given out. A spokesman for the mums said:- "Sure Start centres are good for the future health and well-being of the children who rely on them. They provide advice and support to the most vulnerable families in the community and help parents to access support when they need it most. The current recommendations, which will be presented at the meeting on Thursday will leave Southport with a single children’s centre, despite government regulations which state that the council must make arrangements for sufficient children’s centres to meet local needs. We are waiting to hear how Sefton Council will show that local children will not be badly affected by these closures." Email us your views to our news room via:-

Southport Access For Everyone Update

THE next meeting of the ‘Southport Access For Everyone’ forum will be held at the Community Room of the Southport Fire Station at the corner of Manchester Road and Lord Street, on Thursday, 27 January 2011 from 7.00 pm.

People who experience access problems to the town's facilities because of a disability are welcome to attend and discuss their problems.

The premises are fully accessible for wheelchair users. Enquiries:- 01704 567046.

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