More than £350,000 over the next three years has been secured to fund a joint initiative involving Alzheimer Scotland, Aberdeenshire Community Health Partnership, Aberdeenshire Council and NHS Grampian to help provide early post diagnostic support for people with dementia.
The funding from Aberdeenshire Change Fund will be used to employ three new Alzheimer Scotland Link Workers who will be part of specialised teams working with people diagnosed with dementia in North, Central and South Aberdeenshire.
The link workers will work with Aberdeenshire Council and NHS Grampian to develop systems and approaches to help people with dementia, live with and be better informed about, their illness.
It is hoped this will help delay or avoid the need for them to have institutional or intensive care.
As well as providing information, advice and support for people who are in the process of, or have been recently diagnosed with dementia, the link workers will also seek to promote a greater community understanding and awareness of the range of illnesses known as dementia.
Regional Manager of Alzheimer Scotland, Fiona Roberts, said: “People with dementia need the tools to become active participants in their own health care and be supported to maintain or recover control in their lives as much as possible at each stage of the illness.
“It is particularly important that this support should be provided immediately following diagnosis while the person with dementia has the capacity to make decisions and plan ahead.”
It is estimated around 4,000 people in Aberdeenshire have dementia and Alzheimer Scotland expects the number of people over the age of 74 living with dementia in Aberdeenshire to double by 2024.