A wave of new support workers and nurses are to be recruited in Wales to care for people with dementia, following a cash injection of £1m from the Welsh Government.
The majority of the money – £800,000 – will be used for 32 new primary care support workers, who will work in the community raising awareness and providing face-to-face support, information and advice on accessing the right services for people with dementia.
“All those who work in our health service will need to become more aware of the disease and know what care, advice and support they can offer”
Meanwhile, £180,000 will fund four “dementia link” nurses who will provide training to staff in all 675 residential and nursing homes in Wales.
This will include how to identify the disease, provide post-diagnosis support, link up with local GP services and advise on how to make buildings more dementia-friendly.
The remaining £20,000 will go towards creating an online dementia services register.
Alongside the money, the government has also today introduced a new target for health boards to improve dementia diagnosis rate to at least 50% by 2016.
“Our aim is to improve dementia diagnosis rates across the country”
The Alzheimer’s Society estimates that 57% of people with dementia in Wales have not yet had it clinically confirmed.
Health and social services minister Mark Drakeford said: “Our aim is to improve dementia diagnosis rates across the country and better support people who have been diagnosed with the illness.
“Currently one in five people over 80 have dementia but in the next six years the number of people in Wales with dementia is set to increase by almost a third,” he said.
He added: “All those who work in our health service will need to become more aware of the disease and know what care, advice and support they can offer to improve people’s lives.”