A NEW strategy has been approved to further enhance the care and support for people in Moray with dementia and their families.
The joint document between Moray Council and NHS Grampian is designed to focus on a predicted 50% increase in the numbers of people being diagnosed with the condition in the future.
Latest figures show that 709 people in Moray have dementia and that figure is set to increase.
The focus of the strategy is to ensure people with dementia and their family or carers have an improved quality of life.
Among its key aims are:
•Raising public awareness and understanding about dementia.
•Early diagnosis and support for people.
•Ensuring all GPs and practices are confident in their diagnosis and referral pathway.
•Good access to post-diagnosis support allowing people to live better with dementia.
•Consistent training for healthcare staff.
•Home care services with the expertise to support people, enabling them to live in the community for longer.
Unpaid carers are also a key part of the strategy and Sandra Gracie, Moray Council’s strategy development officer, said ensuring they have ongoing support is vital. That includes respite care and peer support for carers of someone with dementia.
Added Mrs Gracie: "Support from family, friends, neighbours and support services is essential to enable people with dementia to live independently in their own homes for as long as they can and wish to do so."
Moray has two dementia cafes in Forres and Buckie which provide peer support and advice and Change Fund money from the Scottish Government has been allocated to establish more groups.
Councillor Sean Morton, Labour’s healthy spokesman, said: "This is one of the best reports I have ever seen before the committee and the strategy is nothing short of brilliant."
He was pleased to see the council and NHS Grampian working closely with Alzheimer Scotland.
Council leader Allan Wright described it as an "excellent and comprehensive" report.