A diagnosis of dementia can be daunting and raises many questions about the future. Asking for help can feel difficult, particularly if you’ve always been independent.  A wide range of information, advice and support is available from the East Dunbartonshire Dementia Network who offer home visits, outreach sessions and dementia cafes (De Cafe).    At a dementia cafe you can also meet people in a similar situation and share your feelings, experiences and find out Accessing Community Support.

Key Points When Dealing with Professionals

  • If they visit you at home ask to see their identification badge
  • Ask them to explain their role when you meet with them
  • Consider asking a relative or friend to accompany you
  • Write down what you want to discuss before a home visit or meeting
  • Write down anything important they tell you
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification on anything you don’t understand

During 2015-2016 some health and social care services are being Integrated in East Dunbartonshire to improve the planning and delivery of these services.  Put simply, integration means that GPs, hospitals, social workers, health workers, social care staff and other work as one team to reduce the barriers between services, putting the needs of people who use these services first.  Up till now, services have been planned and organised by the Health Board and the Council.  Integration brings together into a single Partnership, with one overall manager, a combined budget, working to one strategic plan.

There are a wide range of health and social care professionals who can help such as:

General Practitioner – GP for initial dementia diagnosis and referral for dementia assessment at a memory clinic

Medical specialists – eg. psychiatrists (for mental health), geriatricians (for older people) and neurologists (for diseases of the brain and nerves)

Nurses – eg. practice nurses, district or community nurses, community psychiatric nurse (CPN) or community mental health nurses

Psychologists – for assessment of memory problems and talking therapies

Pharmacists – for medicines

Physiotherapists – for exercise and mobility

Occupational Therapist – for maintaining everyday skills

Speech and Language Therapist – also help with problems related to swallowing

Counsellors – for talking therapies

Dieticians – for advice on diet and nutrition

Social Worker – for advice and support to individuals and families.  Provide assessment of need and assist families to improve their situation and well-being

Advocacy Worker – works alongside you to help make your voice stronger and helps you to think about your options as you plan for the future. Independent advocacy is free to use and you can self refer to the service. Advocacy is independent from other service providers such as Social Work and NHS Services.  See Ceartas for more information

Homecare Organiser and Homecare Workers – can provide assistance at home including personal care, providing a light meal, and prompting you to take medication.  Care at Home in East Dunbartonshire

Link Worker (post diagnostic support worker)  – from April 2013 (in Scotland) those diagnosed with dementia will have the offer of 12 months post-diagnostic support through a Link Worker and they will help you develop a Personal Support Plan which takes account of your individual needs and hopes for the future

Dementia Champion – change agents in improving the experience, care, treatment and outcomes for people with dementia, their families and carers in general hospitals and at the interface between hospital and community settings. Dementia Champion Information

Dementia Ambassador – skilled members of the workforce who have a key role in promoting learning opportunities for staff working in social service settings and third sector. They have existing roles in care homes, housing support day care and charities.  They take an active role in improving the lives of people with dementia, their families and carers

Dementia Advisor – employed by Alzheimer Scotland. Your Local Dementia Advisor  is based at their East Dunbartonshire Dementia Resource Centre in Bearsden.  Alzheimer Scotland is a key partner in the East Dunbartonshire Dementia Network

Befriender – a trained volunteer who is matched to a person with dementia by East Dunbartonshire Voluntary Action Befriending Service (EDVA). A befriending relationship can be face to face, by telephone or letter. Usually the match is made between two people of similar gender, age and interests. They agree to have regular contact and may engage in social activities which are enjoyable to both