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Conference shapes dementia strategy  

Conference shapes dementia strategy  
By Julie Griffiths
1 April 2024

More than 100 people attended a conference in North Yorkshire on 21 March to shape the dementia strategy for the local population.

The conference brought together people with lived experience of dementia, care partners, voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSE) and healthcare professionals to discuss how the care of people living with dementia could be improved.

The event in Harrogate was organised by the Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society.

Gemma Willingham-Storr, programme lead for dementia and urgent and emergency mental health for the Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, said addressing the complex challenges of dementia care was important.

Ms Willingham-Storr described the conference as ‘a pivotal step in our collective efforts to enhance the care and support available in our region’. 

‘By deeply understanding the needs of the individuals living with dementia and their care partners, we can tailor our strategy to ensure it accurately reflects our population’s diversity and upholds their continued quality of life,’ she said.

The title of the conference – Dementia: A Life Still to Be Lived – was inspired by the late Wendy Mitchell, an NHS worker and dementia champion who advocated for living positively with dementia.

Data shows that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease account for more than one in 10 deaths across the UK in 2022.

Danielle Cooper, head of local services for Alzheimer’s Society, said that 76,000 people were living with dementia in Yorkshire and Humber.

She said bringing together organisations with those who have lived experience of dementia had been effective in highlighting areas for improvement.  

‘Their knowledge and skills will help shape how people affected by dementia can best be supported from diagnosis and as their condition progresses,’ said Ms Cooper.

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