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Dementia gateway reopens

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A Dudley dementia gateway has welcomed the return of service users this week as national restrictions ease, allowing the centre to reopen.

The reopening of the Dudley Council-run Crystal Gateway in Brierley Hill also coincides with national dementia action week (May 17 to 23).

The centre will be following all the latest coronavirus guidance to keep visitors and staff safe and will initially operate a reduced service.

Two sessions will be held each day and people will be able to take part in an assortment of table-top activities, exercise sessions, music, arts and crafts, current affairs discussions.

During the pandemic the council’s dementia service, with support from the Crystal Gateway staff offered help to people in their own homes.  

Staff were bubbled with individuals and were able to offer support to people and their carers. They also helped people connect with their family and friends remotely via various digital platforms.

RITA (Reminiscence Interactive Therapy Activities) technology was also taken into the persons home to encourage interaction between the person living with dementia their carer and the staff supporting them.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:

Our dementia gateways traditionally offer advice and information about diagnosis and living with dementia as well as day care and respite.
The pandemic has meant support and services have had to be offered in a different way but I am delighted we are able to reopen the centres during dementia action week and start offering face-to-face support.
As areas of the borough have seen a small rise in the number of coronavirus cases, the centres will take the reopening one step at a time to ensure everyone is kept safe and to respond to the local situation.

The dementia advisor service has also continued to support people during the pandemic either by providing advice and guidance over the telephone or undertaking socially distanced visits to give further reassurance and signpost carers to support.

The dementia advisors can be contacted via 01384 81 0303 or by email at Demgate.Services@dudley.gov.uk

Dudley Council is a member of the Dudley Dementia Action Alliance, which aims to bring organisations together to make Dudley borough dementia friendly. Contact Annette Darby at annette.darby@dudley.gov.uk for more information if you wish to join.

For more information about the council’s dementia gateways go to: https://www.dudley.gov.uk/residents/care-and-health/adult-health-social-care/support-to-stay-independent/dementia-gateways/

For more information about what are the signs someone may have dementia, how people can reduce their risk of developing dementia and where to go for help, advice and support go to - https://lets-get.com/ageing-well/dementia/

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