Dementia: city’s growing problem

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COUNCIL bosses in Sheffield are drawing up plans to deal with the city’s growing number of people with dementia.

There are currently 6,382 people living with dementia in the city and that is expected to rise to 7,342 by 2020 and 9,340 by 2030.

Sheffield Council is planning a three-month consultation with community groups, patients, carers and NHS workers, to develop a strategy to deal with the issue.

An officer report, to be considered by the council’s cabinet next Wednesday, said: “The growing number of older people means that Sheffield faces a substantial growth in the numbers of people with dementia in the next 18 years.

“This represents a significant issue for the city. The expectation for most people with dementia is to remain at home as long as possible.

“It is essential that people with dementia, their families and friends, and staff working with them have a big say in shaping the city’s future plans.”

The council’s strategy centres on increasing the number of people living with dementia in their own homes, and reducing reliance on care homes and hospitals.

Five questions, to be posed to community groups, NHS staff, patients and housing organisations, ask how the city could ‘better understand the needs of people with dementia’, how the council can ‘facilitate change’, and what types of dementia support work best.

But people will not be asked their views on three dementia care centres that could be closed - Bole Hill View in Crookes, Hurlfield View in Gleadless Common and Norbury in Fir Vale.

The report said: “It is acknowledged there may be concerns that decisions about the future of services have already been made - including the dementia resource centres at Hurlfield View, Norbury and Bole Hill View.

“Nothing has been decided - there is a genuine wish to involve all people affected by dementia before final proposals are made.”

Coun Mary Lea, cabinet member for health, said: “We need to adapt our services to create efficiency and enable us to meet changing needs.”