Local organisations join forces to support people with memory loss

memory loss 2

NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Bury Council and a host of local organisations have joined forces to offer support to those who have recently been diagnosed with memory loss. The new provision, called Memory Loss Support Services, will help patients with a memory loss condition known as mild cognitive impairment.

Mild cognitive impairment is where a person has a decline in their cognition (thinking) which does not impact their functioning (ability to carry out a task). Thinking occurs in different areas of the brain, so each individual with the condition may display different symptoms. For some, the impairment could mean they cannot find the words, remember certain objects and items or it could affect some of the skills the individual wants to use.

It is estimated that a third of people over 65 may have mild cognitive impairment and some of those will go on to develop dementia. The Memory Loss Support Services will help those diagnosed with a memory loss condition to understand what it means and offer tools to reduce their risk of developing dementia.

The services will provide free and confidential guidance for:

  • Health and lifestyle advice
  • Counselling and emotional support
  • Financial and benefits advice
  • Opportunities to meet other people affected by memory loss.

Once the individual has been diagnosed, they can self-refer by contacting any of the local organisations that form the Memory Loss Support Services to access information, guidance, and advice from:

  • Bury Live Well Service are a team of experts providing free personalised support to promote healthy and active living and help people to make positive changes to their lifestyle.
  • BEATS exercise referral scheme provide advice and support on how to improve your general health and wellbeing trough physical activity.
  • Social prescribing schemes include cookery classes and healthy eating advice, volunteering, sports and exercise groups, gardening, arts activities and group learning which have the the aim of helping individuals to take greater control of their own health.
  • Dementia advisor service provides valuable support to those who have been diagnosed with dementia and enable easy access to care, support and advice following a diagnosis.
  • Gaddum – Bury carers service is a service for carers who provide unpaid care or assistance for a relative, friend or neighbour who is frail, has a disability or a long term physical or mental illness.

Nigget Saleem, Clinical Lead for Social Prescribing, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Dementia, Medicines Optimisation and Learning Disabilities at NHS Bury CCG, said “If you have concerns about a friend or family member, see your GP in the first instance for a memory loss assessment. Your GP will ensure that if needed the individual experiencing memory problem gets referred to the appropriate services so that they and their family can get the right support and plan for the future. Not all patients with a memory loss diagnosis will go on to develop dementia – the Memory Loss Support Services can offer guidance on dealing with any anxiety or uncertainty over what the future may hold.

“There are some really proactive charities that support this work and provide really good services for people with mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Identifying people early and helping them to adapt their lifestyle and address things like smoking, alcohol, blood pressure and adapting exercises to promote brain activity means their risk of developing dementia is reduced.”