Age Concern Southend new CEO, Rob Woolley addresses need for improved Dementia care in Southend.

Dementia is one of the biggest health challenges of our time. According to Dementia UK, every 3 minutes someone in the UK develops Dementia.
It is estimated that 2,000 residents over 65 in Southend have Dementia and this figure continues to increase year-on-year. In 2020, Southend G.P. data showed that Southend had a higher prevalence of Dementia than the average in England.

Age Concern Southend can work alongside other services in Southend which embrace residents with Dementia and their carers – helping them to feel supported and empowered as they navigate this devastating illness. However, the local charity has raised concern that people are not being referred to them, as we would like.

CEO, Rob Woolley highlights that Age Concern Southend is currently being under used and has capacity to help more people. The independent charity, which is not funded by the NHS or Council is reliant on grant funding, donations and community support to help more people and in turn, survive a desperate financial position.

Rob Woolley said, “Age Concern Southend have been struggling for quite some time. Like so many other charities, such as Age UK Essex and Age UK Northwest Kent, we almost went bankrupt and disappeared. It was only really saved when some funding from the winding up of Age UK Essex came to us.

We are for the next 6 to 12 months in a survival phase. We have been a fixture in Southend for 50 years and I want to make sure the charity is still going for another 50 years. Our best hope is to double the number of clients that come to the Dementia Day Centre and reach more people who could benefit from our other services including befriending and the Community Hub.

Furthermore, our client’s carers tell us that Dementia services in Southend are not sufficient and we can make a difference to this. We need to make sure older people are not being left behind.”

Age Concern Southend’s Dementia Day Centre offers Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) through a varied programme of activities proven to enhance and improve the lives of older people living with Dementia – whether diagnosed or undiagnosed.

Rob concludes, “We can help you make their life more fulfilling, enjoyable and help them socialise and live independently for longer – keeping them out of care homes for longer.”

If you would like to learn more about Dementia services available from Age Concern Southend, please get in touch by email and visit our website for more information Rob is happy to talk with other services, charities and community groups working towards to same goal of improving Dementia care in Southend.

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