A WOMAN who set up a foundation in memory of her father is urging for more training to be given to carers dealing with dementia patients.
Caroline Dearson, of Chesterfield Avenue, from Benfleet, set up the Mickey Payne Memorial Foundation, in memory of her father who died of dementia in 2010 along her brother her brother Mark Payne and sister Leslie Huntley.
Caroline wants to see carers given better training so they can gauge a deeper understanding of patients dealing with dementia and their needs.
The call comes just days after new figures came to light from the Alzeimers Society which show an extra 2000 people were diagnosed with the disorder last year.
In south Essex the number of people with dementia is on the rise. In 2011 there was 3603 people diagnosed and this rose to 3818 last year- the figures also show there are 2653 people who are undiagnosed.
Caroline, who now runs the foundation full time, said it has gone from strength to strength over the past couple of years and they are now launching a new buddy scheme at Thurrock Hospital for people with dementia.
She said: “It is worrying to hear that the number of people with dementia is rising but it doesn’t surprise me. The training for carers looking after people with dementia has got to improve.
“When dad died of the illness it was not as much on the radar for medical staff as it is now. It is good people are finding out more about the condition and we are trying to raise awareness with the foundation.
“Our aim with the foundation is to be able to tell people about the experience we had with dad and give advice. We have tried to be as innovative as we can and we held an open day where lots of different charities and organisations came along.
“The buddy service is the newest thing we are launching and its for dementia sufferers.
“We are looking for volunteers who can come along to Thurrock Hospital where we are holding the pilot and make friends with people who have got dementia whose family are not around or not available all the time, by visiting them a few times a week.”
Paul Dunnery, Area manager for Alzheimer’s Society in East Anglia added: “It’s encouraging to see an increase in the number people that are receiving a diagnosis in East Anglia – but half of people that are living with dementia aren’t receiving the support, benefits and the treatments that are often available.
“The NHS has made a commitment to improving diagnosis rates so now it is time for that commitment to turn into action locally, to help ensure people in East Anglia can live well with the condition.”
If you would like more information about the memorial foundation log onto www.mickeypaynememorial foundation.org.uk