Memory Support Service Buckinghamshire

by | Nov 27, 2017 | Carers, Dementia, News, Support

The Memory Support Service (MSS), managed by Alzheimer’s Society, provides a range of support services to people living with memory concerns, dementia and their carers in Buckinghamshire.  Delivered on behalf of Bucks County Council and Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Groups the MSS has seven memory support workers.  Evidence points to the value of early diagnosis and intervention to improve quality of life and to delay unnecessary admissions into hospitals and care homes.  The support workers therefore work closely with local GP surgeries and memory clinics.
Anyone living in Buckinghamshire who is concerned about their memory can be referred for a simple 20 minute memory screening test which can be done in a person’s own home.  If the test indicates cognitive impairment the person can be referred to their GP who will do routine tests before referring on to the memory clinic to see a specialist.  If dementia is diagnosed by the specialist that person can be referred back into the MSS to see the support worker again for further support.  The support worker will help them understand and come to terms with their diagnosis, provide information about services, help to plan for the future and give advice on healthy living.  As the dementia progresses the MSS can be accessed as and when needed to develop coping strategies to avoid a crisis and to enable both the person with dementia and their family members to continue to live well. A wealth of information and publications are available from Alzheimer’s Society and the support workers are all experienced and skilled to understand and meet the needs of those affected by dementia.
209 referrals were received in the months July-Sept this year, 110 with memory concerns, 11 people with a diagnosis and 88 for carer support. There are approximately 6,588 people aged over 65 living with dementia in Buckinghamshire.  Feedback from service users regularly informs us of the benefits of the MSS.  “All the information was helpful and makes life easier to cope “(a carer).  “she talked to me slowly without making me feel silly.  The way she explained things helped me to understand what I need to do” (person with dementia).
The MSS also has a peer support group facilitator who provides 2 hour sessions for anyone with a memory concern to meet with others to discuss their concerns and share coping strategies.  She also provides Dementia Information and Support Sessions – a series of 6 sessions for people with a diagnosis of early stage dementia.  Alzheimer’s Society also provide activity and singing groups and carer support groups in Buckinghamshire.
For further information contact the MSS on 01296 331749 or memorysupport@alzheimers.org.uk