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Surge in dementia support requests

Surge in dementia support requests

Friday 03 January 2020

Surge in dementia support requests

Friday 03 January 2020


Demand for help from a local charity supporting islanders with dementia has more than doubled in recent years, with 1,500 islanders now estimated to be living with the condition.

However, despite things continuing to get busier for the Jersey Alzheimer's Association (JAA), the charity says 2019 has been a fantastic year with its Dementia Friends and Roadshow Initiatives enjoying considerable success.

And with its 10th anniversary now approaching, JAA says it's now gearing up for an "even better" year in 2020, which will see the charity help develop Jersey's first dementia strategy. CEO Sean Pontin explained...

"Across the world dementia is estimated to affect 50 million people, 850,000 across the UK and approximately 1,500 in Jersey. This number is set to increase to over two million people affected in the UK by 2050.

Video: JAA supports islanders living with dementia and their families.

JAA raises awareness and improves understanding of dementia throughout Jersey. By providing information and advice they seek to support anybody affected by dementia, in whatever way.

Since 2012, JAA has seen an increase of over 235% in the amount of people seeking support and accessing activities. This includes people of all ages, their families, friends and carers.

As well as offering a counselling and family support service, a number of community activities, JAA also provides education and awareness sessions to schools, community groups, local companies and organisations.

Dementia_Friends.jpg

Pictured: Jersey now counts over 350 Dementia Friends.

In January 2019, JAA signed up to the global Dementia Friends network, which has seen over three million people attend dementia awareness sessions across the world.

Jersey was the 48th country to join the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perception of dementia and now has over 350 Dementia Friends who have attended our 45-minute sessions aimed at changing the way people think, act and talk about dementia.

Dementia Friends is a great way to learn just five simples things that will help you to support your family, friends, customers, staff teams or anyone you come across.

Alzheimer's association parish pursuit

Pictured: This year, the JAA team has been touring 12 parishes.

Also back in January the team decided to hit the road, showcasing their services and those offered by partners such as Jersey Library, Jersey Heritage and Occupational Therapy by visiting a different parish each month.

It's been a really interesting experience, sometimes we had hardly anybody visit us but at other times we had 50 or 60. What was key for us was that at every stop we had some really meaningful conversations that made a difference to people and that makes it all worthwhile.

Sean_Pontin_of_the_Jersey_Alzheimer_s_Association_1.JPG

Pictured: Sean Pontin, Chief Executive Officer of the JAA.

So what of 2020? Well its JAA’s 10th birthday and to celebrate we will be hosting a number of special events – a celebration tea party, a gala ball and our first conference.

More importantly we will be working with the Government of Jersey to bring to life Jersey’s very first dementia strategy which is absolutely fantastic news."

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