New dementia service offers ‘lifeline’ to people in Brent

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A new dementia helpline has been launched in Brent – offering advice and support for anyone concerned about the condition. 

The service is run by Cricklewood-based community charity Ashford Place and is aimed at people with dementia, their families or anyone in the borough with questions about the illness. 

The helpline, which provides general advice and puts people in touch with other services that can help, is funded by a £68,000 grant from City Bridge Trust – the City of London Corporation’s charity funder. 

Ashford Place usually runs a range of services for people with dementia, including dementia cafes, peer support groups and health and wellbeing sessions. 

Its programme has changed due to Covid-19 and currently services are delivered online, by telephone and, when safe and allowed under tier restrictions, in socially distanced small groups.

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Chairman City Bridge Trust Committee, Dhruv Patel, said: “Ashford House is already doing great work to provide advice, support and activities for people with dementia, but Covid-19 means the social interaction which is so important for people with the condition has reduced.

“This new service will provide a much-needed lifeline for people to get their questions about dementia answered and, if necessary, access the support they need to manage the condition and plan for the future.” 

Ashford Place hopes the service will promote early intervention, which can help people take control of their lives, plan for the future and live well – as well as tackling some of the misconceptions about dementia. 

Danny Maher, Ashford Place CEO, said: “Sometimes people think a dementia diagnosis means that’s it – your life is over – but in fact people can continue to live full lives, and early diagnosis means they can plan ahead and avoid problems further down the line. 

“If people are concerned about memory loss in themselves or a loved-one, they often don’t know where to turn to get information or support, and trying to access services can be stressful and time-consuming.

“The helpline means we can connect them with others who can help, take the stress out of that process and make it as simple as possible for them to get the support they need.”

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