New Champion for Dementia announced

A councillor (and former Assistant Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care) has been appointed as the borough’s newest Champion to support residents with dementia and their families and carers.

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Following the Full Council meeting, Cllr Roger Crouch, ward Councillor for Twickenham Riverside, has been given the Dementia Champion role. The week of 15 to 21 May 2020 would have been National Dementia Week, however, due to the pandemic, this will now take place later in the year and will include events in the borough.

In the UK, there are about 800,000 people with dementia; it is estimated that around 400,000 people have dementia but do not know it. By raising awareness about this condition, it is hoped that people will be diagnosed much earlier, giving more time for them to come to terms with future symptoms and have access to relevant information, resources and support.

In his role, Cllr Crouch will be liaising with local groups and organisations in the borough that work hard to support people and families in the borough who are living with dementia, to try and understand more about their services, and the particular pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the coming months, the Council will be publishing its revised Dementia Prevention and Care Pathway, which will be considered by the Adult Social Services, Health and Housing Committee.

Cllr Crouch said:

“A diagnosis of dementia can often be devastating to the person concerned. We are all likely to know someone with dementia, and understanding more about what it is, and how we can help, is becoming increasingly important. By better understanding the needs of those living with dementia, we can give people with the condition the help they need to retain their independence and carry out their everyday activities for as long as they can.

“There are approximately 1,500 people who have been diagnosed with dementia in Richmond and this figure will increase in line with the local ageing  population. However, Richmond prides itself on offering an enormous amount of support for people living with dementia and their carers and families. I hope to be able to work with all those who provide such fantastic services and help identify where they may be gaps and where additional support may be needed particularly taking into account the impact of COVID-19.

“I look forward to working with our partners to raise awareness of dementia across all organisations.”

Cllr Piers Allen, Chair of the Adult Social Services, Health and Housing Committee and Richmond’s Health and Wellbeing Board, added:

“I am delighted that Roger has been appointed Dementia Champion – Roger has demonstrated great interest in the championing of dementia services in the Borough from the outset of this administration, and which he has continued since we moved from the Cabinet to the Committee Services system. I greatly look forward to working with him in this new role.

“In the future the Health and Wellbeing Board will have an ever more important role (particularly in the post-COVID recovery) forging the closer integration of health and care services between the Council, our NHS health partners and the local voluntary and community sector. We will all have a great part to play in the successful implementation of our revised and refreshed Joint Dementia Strategy and the Dementia Champion role will be a vital catalyst and promoter of this integrated approach between health and social care partners and the carers and families of those living with dementia, and in the important part prevention, recognition and early intervention will play.”

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