Summary of report content
Healthwatch York conducted a focus groups with 7 people caring for those with dementia and with 13 people living with dementia. This investigation was run in partnership with York Minds & Voice Dementia Forum. Surveys were also distributed to key dementia support organisations in York, but only a small volume were returned.
A number of key themes were identified from the meetings. For example, everyone's experience of dementia is unique and there is a growing desire for people with dementia to share their experiences and engage with others. It was found that diagnosis is vital, but experience of this is inconsistent and that people with dementia were very keen to support GPs to understand the importance of diagnosis. Participants also highlighted that being active and involved while feeling as if their voices are being heard, has a positive impact on health. This is because positive meaningful activity for people living with dementia helps them maintain their skills, feel connected, and continue to enjoy life. The work to address stigma, improve understanding, and enable people to be dementia friendly is vital as everyone has a role to play in making life better for people with dementia to help create communities that are better for us all.
A number of recommendations were made and aimed at a range of key stakeholders, including Health and Wellbeing Board, York CVS and the Dementia Action Alliance. Recommendations included that awareness of dementia should be introduced to school curriculums and contracting arrangements; and that consideration for increasing advocacy, mediation and support for couples and families to support them through the changing relationship dynamics.