What can Greater Manchester do to better support those living with dementia?

Our reporter Joy Watson visited the ‘Living Well with Dementia’ event in to hear from top figures in the area and those who have had a diagnosis, to find out what life is like in Greater Manchester and what can be improved.

The event at Friends Meeting House on Monday June 6 saw hundreds of people come together to discuss what the future should look like for the region, for those living with dementia and their carers.

Take a look at Joy’s video, where she chats with Mayor Andy Burnham, Alzheimer’s Society Chief Executive Officer Kate Lee and attendees, capturing their reaction from the event.

Suggestions put forward for a better Greater Manchester included the rental of electric wheelchairs in cities, better dementia training for all transport staff and a more streamlined diagnosis process, with better follow-up support.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “Services are not good enough at the moment. Today is about giving people with lived experience to be able to say to people like me, this is how it is for me, and this is what needs to improve.”

Many of those living with dementia said they did not have an easy diagnosis process and were left totally “on their own” after finding out they had it.

Other said they were not told what type of dementia they had, so felt they had a lack of understanding about both the cause of it, and how to live with it.

Attendee Jacqui told us that her doctor “kept saying her symptoms were stress”, before eventually getting a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

The event was coordinated by the GMCA, the GM Health and Social Care Partnership, Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia United, Together Dementia Support, Roche and the International Longevity Centre.

For more information on dementia, diagnosis, treatment and local support, this NHS web page is a good place to start.

People First Dementia Support Service – Free support is available to people aged 55+ living in Manchester who are exhibiting signs of dementia, memory loss or confusion. Their team of Community Support Workers visit clients at home.  You can contact them on 0161 235 6900 or email [email protected]

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