New Dementia Hub offers vital support

One of a range of measures to make Harrow more dementia-friendly

Anyone living with dementia is welcome

 

Harrow Council has launched a new Dementia Hub – a drop-in service where families can get expert help and much-needed support.

Anyone living with dementia is welcome to the weekly service, every Tuesday, at the Bridge day centre on Christchurch Avenue opposite the Leisure Centre. There they’ll find dementia specialists, ready to respond to the needs of those who visit. For people with dementia, there are activities, like art and exercise, to improve health and well-being. For carers and families, the Hub offers everything from advice and reassurance to a cup of tea and a chat. 

Cllr Simon Brown, Harrow Council Cabinet member for Adults and Public Health, said, “Dementia is a truly terrible affliction and perhaps, when we consider our long-term health, it is the thing we each fear most.

“Losing one’s sense of self, our understanding of the world and the connections to those we love most is unimaginably cruel – yet for many local families, dealing with these devastating effects is part of daily life.

“We’ve worked very closely with those affected by the debilitating range of conditions we know as dementia. We wanted to offer the help these families value most and bring a fresh focus to the ways in which we support them.”

Alongside the Hub, the council has launched a package of other measures, which Harrow hopes will make it one of the most dementia-friendly boroughs in the area.

It’s funding two new dementia specialist nurses and a clinical lead who will contribute a unique set of skills when offering local families focussed one-to-one support.

The council also has hundreds of dementia-friendly homes in the pipeline, all available for social rent. Considerations including open sightlines, colour-coding, use of light and the visibility of door handles and locks make such properties easier and more intuitive to navigate.

Construction of 109 modern spacious properties is already underway as part of the redevelopment of extra care facility, Watkins House, and work at Wolstenholme, Stanmore. These new homes are due to be completed in the next 18 months, with funding for a further 240 homes committed beyond that.

It’s estimated that about 850,000 people are living with dementia in the UK - this is predicted to rise to more than a million in the next ten years. In Harrow more than 2,500 people are known to have dementia, but it’s suspected many more are undiagnosed.

Annie’s Place, in Pinner, which served as a pilot for the new Hub service, offers a dementia drop-in service in the north of the borough. Find out more on the council's website or by emailing dementiahub@harrow.gov.uk.